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I found out the hard way

No matter how educated you think you are about something like STD’s, there can always be a surprise in store. I found out the hard way that oral herpes (cold sores) could be transmitted to one’s genitals through oral sex. Let me just say that there is not really any part of contracting an STD that isn’t terrible. I began to feel apprehensive when I felt as if I was urinating razor blades. I’m sure that everyone tries to tell themselves that it’s something harmless. Maybe a urinary tract infection, or some harmless condition that will go away with time. When symptoms don’t go away, you get this anxiety that wells up within you that only a trip to the doctor will cure. This doctor visit is no picnic either. Getting a swab is a very painful experience, not to mention an uncomfortable one in terms of explaining your symptoms with the family doctor; the one that took care of you when you got the flu since you were three years old. So until the results of this swab come back, you’re pretty much left to consider all the worst outcomes of your situation. I was in a monogamous relationship at the time with a girl I knew was faithful. However, an experience like this causes you to question the ones you love. Suspicion is an ugly feeling, almost as ugly as the images you think of when considering if that person could have cheated on you. These feeling are not quite as bad as the one you have when your doctor calls you back and tells you that you, the sexually educated, responsible and non-promiscuous college student, have genital herpes.

Here’s where I get off easy. I have Type I Herpes, which means that I will likely never have symptoms again. It has been at least four years since I’ve seen any sign of my condition and I hope it stays that way. Being the responsible person I am, I still tell every sexual partner about the miniscule chance that I could give her my genital cold sores. Not exactly many people’s idea of foreplay.

But what about the ones that aren’t so lucky? What about the ones that end up with a disease that requires costly doctor visits and expensive treatment? What about the ones that will have their condition for the rest of their lives or whose disease will leave permanent affects on their body, emotions and reputation? What about the ones that will lose their life or their ability to create life due to their disease? Learn from my mistake. It could not, would not ever happen to me, except that it did. Educate yourself, ask questions, be open with partners and make good decisions; that is your best chance of avoiding an awful experience.

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