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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Testing, testing...

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Author Topic: Testing, testing...
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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So, there are plenty of people who've never goitten tested for STDs or STIs, and plenty of us who do and think nothing of it.

I thought it might be nice to have a thread where we could talk about hetting tested to help some folks who might be scared to death to do it, or for those of you in the scared-to-death camp to let out some of your fears and anxieties about it here.

I do remember the first time I ever went to a clinic alone at 15 for an annual GYN exam, and my first STD screening. I had this idea that it'd be like some sort of awful POW interrogation followed by a group body cavity search, and I was amazed at how quickly it was all over and at what a big deal it wasn't, but I easily sweated myself into a puddle with worry before I went.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hanne
Sexpert
Member # 100

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My first time for getting STD tested wasn't so bad while I was there... but I fretted myself into a total mess between the time I got tested and the time I got the results back. I was a *wreck*, couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, and was totally convinced that I had every single disease that had ever been discovered.

Then my test results came back and I was...

100% clean.

Phew! I was SO relieved I just about peed my pants. After all that tension I'd generated for myself, I was almost deliriously happy that nothing that I had feared was actually wrong.

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Hanne Blank
Co-Editor, Scarleteen

Start a Revolution -- Stop Hating Your Body!


Posts: 1538 | From: boston, ma, USA | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
alaska
Scarleteen Volunteer
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I was the same as Hanne when I went for my first STD screening a few months back (yes I know, should have done it earlier).

My doc actually asked me whether I wanted one as I was lying there, my feet in the stirrups and he asked because during the physical, he saw something strange on my cervix and was wondering whether it was HPV. Well, so I agreed and he did some smears and a blood test and the week until I got the results back was horrible. I kept thinking "What if I have this".....But when I called the docs office and they told me, nah no need to come in because it was all well and healthy and normal, I was sooooo relieved.
I was quite happy to get this all done at my own docs office, because he's a really good doc and good at calming people. These days, I find gyno visits and paps and whatnot pretty much okay...simply doesn't bother me at all anymore.

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Just a regular lunatic.
Go inside Alaska's head...


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Gumdrop Girl
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i went 'cause it was 6 months after I became sexually active. i figured if i picked anything up, it would show up by now. so i got tested. and i came up clean. no muss. no fuss.

here's a real issue: how to get the partner to go in for a test?

first time i tried this, a certain somebody got a bit defensive. he's still got a bit of a "it can't happen to me, i'm a good boy" attitude. but fact of the matter, he's only lucky that his girlfriend is honest -- someday, that might not be the case. so, some people retort, "then why not just stop sleeping with him." or "demand that he get tested."
well, frankly, i don't think i'm in any position to demand that another person do something -- i don't give orders. you can lead a horse to university health services, but you can't make him say "ahh."

i'm kinda of sick of making myself look paranoid and distrustful when i'm only looking out for our responsibilities as sexually active people. i've been a stickler for the condoms, though, and that's not been a problem.

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Kill your TV! And while you're at it, your mobile phone, too.


Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
emsily0
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yeah, gumdrop, i definitely agree. my boyfriend was the same way. i eventually got him to go, though - i don't really know what changed his mind. i think maybe he thought that if he tested clean, i would stop being so anal about condoms since i am on the pill. (heh heh heh, little did he know)...anyway, so he finally went, and he was mad about that, and then he said that having his urethra swabbed or whatever it's called was very very painful - like an 8 on a scale of 1-10 (as opposed to the 4 that they say it will be on this website...) but i digress. he had to get blood drawn twice! because they test for HIV separately from other STD's, and then they made him wait 2 months for his results. he was clean, but i think he thought it was just all way too much of a pain in the butt.

em

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Love is a word that is constantly heard
Hate is a word that is not.
Love, I am told, is more precious than gold.
Love, I have read, is hot.
But hate is the verb that to me is superb,
And love but a drug on the mart.
Any kiddie in school can love like a fool,
But hating, my boy, is an art.
-Ogden Nash


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bettie
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Before becoming sexually active I had a PAP test a couple of months before. I thought I had been screened for STDs. Obviously, based on what I know now about STD testing, I know I wasn't. Yikes!

Lucky for me and partner, we used condoms consistently and I only had one partner, so my risk was low.

Now, I get tested at least every six months, though now it has been every three because I am polyamorous. I feel keeping on top of things is part of STD defense. In any case, getting tested for me is a no brainer. The doctor is incredibly nice and the nurses at the clinic, while not supportive of my life choices are respectful. The testing itself is painless and I have even become used to the blood test (I am fainter when I see my own blood).

I am very open with my partners about my testing so I think it encourages them to be open about theirs.

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Louise Lalonde
-Scarleteen Sexpert & Volunteer du Jour

"Glad to have a friend like you,
And glad to just be me"
-Carol Hall


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mamaalli
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My first screening was also my first obstetric exam (15 and 4 months pregnant) that screening came back fine, but then I had to go through the myriad of tests they give all pregnant women. One is HIV, then the re-screen for all STD's. I was totally clean, but worried about HIV. I had been with other guys befor John, and while I always insisted on safe sex when I was *CAPABLE*, I knew there were several times that I did not remember or was not concious for (alcohol...) SO, i was worried.

So, i retested at 2 months postpartum (5 months after my initial HIV screen) then again at 10 months, with another full screening (at my OBGYN's office) Stayed fine. I got screened again recently, after breaking up with Cades dad, about 7 months ago.

So far, so good. I'm celibate now (not for lack of desire, just lack of opportunity and emotional readiness!), so I will test again in a little bit...maybe next week! If no nasty's have popped up by then, that I am all good.

After having a baby in a hospital, exams are nothing. It gets easier, girls.


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StarryRedhead
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The first time I got an STD screening I was 15 and scared out of my mind. I was pregnant and had just found out my boyfriend, a guy I had had unprotected sex with, had been sleeping with someone else. I thought for sure I had something so I was a nervous wreck thinking I had some STD. I think I was actually more worried about having an STD than being pregnant!

My second STD screening I had back in November after breaking up with my boyfriend, who I had been having unprotected sex with. That time I was more scared. I had developed an AWFUL yeast infection, along with the fact that I was sick with a fever and cold, and I thought for sure it was some terrible STD or STI! Thankfully, it turned out it was just an upper respiratory infection and regular yeast infection. I'm someone that's definitely put myself at risk in the past, and that has changed, I don't want anymore scares. Although I'm probably gonna get tested again in April, just in case.

I'm all about STD screens, both me and my sexual partners. Even when we're using condoms (which will be everytime from now on).

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}{*Starry Ali*}{
"You just close your eyes slowly like you're waiting for a kiss, and hope some lowly little power will pull you out of this..."


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Gumdrop Girl
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wooHOO! he's GOING!

(see my pervios post, if you have no idea)

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Kill your TV! And while you're at it, your mobile phone, too.


Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 568

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looking at that last post, wow, i'm not too careful when i type. (typing slows to a chicken-pecking crawl)

anyway, here's something you might not have thought of, but if you're comfortable with it, why not get tested along with some (good) friends.

I went solo, but my guy and his roommate are going for HIV testing together. At Uni. Health Services, they have free, anonymous HIV testing every Thursday, no appointments necessary. I think I'll go with 'em.

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Kill your TV! And while you're at it, your mobile phone, too.


Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TheCagedOne
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Wow, I think I'm the only guy with a post in here...
Well, my most recent (and first) STD screening was more humorous than anything. First I called my local Planned Parenthood, who informed me that they do STD testing, only not for males!? For that, I had to go downtown. Which was about 10 miles further than the closest clinic. So I call the downtown place. I ask to make an appointment, she says the earliest I can get in is the next day. I said "you sure you can't get me in today?" She says, "ok, 4pm today"! So I go at 4. I swear, I'm the only guy within a mile of this place, lol. I go in to do my test, and the doctor asks me like 4 times if I have any symptoms. I tell her everytime, "No, i'm just here for a routine check". I guess she didn't believe me, or just couldn't believe that a guy would actually come down there on his own to get tested. So we do the test (about 5 minutes worth of stuff), which by the way guys, is not near as bad as people make it out to be. Uncomfortable maybe, but not paintful. At any rate, they completely forget to charge me for the tests! So in order to make sure they get done, I call the next day and pay with my credit card. Like I said, overall, it was very amusing! I'm still waiting on the results, but I'm not too nervous. Just wanna make sure I'm squeaky clean

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"A wise monkey never monkeys with another monkey's monkey"
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"Recycle, stay in school, and fight the power" ~ SSX

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"We're all here cuz we're not all there"


Posts: 52 | From: Usually somewhere between MI & FL - currently KY | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 568

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So let's fast-forward two and a half years since I last talked in this thread...

I'm at a new school, I have a new sexual partner. My student health insurance just kicked in, so I made an appointment. The thing I like about being in a medical school (technically, I am) is that I go to school in a big hospital (LA County-USC Hospital is definitely a BIG hospital!). That means I can get a same-day appointment, unlike way back at Berkeley when I had to book a month in advance.

It's been a while since I got tested. I was out of school for a year, but I was in a monogamous, long-term relationship, having turned up all-negative in all prior tests. So I wasn't too worried. That relationship ended when I moved away, and not long after, I ceased to be monogamous.

So last Friday, I drove to campus (the hospital) and waited for my 9:15 appointment. Well, stupid traffic shutdown on the 10 (major freeway) made my doctor really late, so it was more like my 10:15 appointment.


The nurse took my vital stats (weight, height, blood pressure and temp) and then drew my blood for syphilis and HIV tests.


A 3rd-year medical student came in to ask me questions. This is the year where they start doing rounds with patients. Did I mention this is one of the major teaching hospitals in the United States? He asked me about the purpose of my visit (STD full screen), number of partners I had in the past year (2, and that's ever, actually), whether I had any symptoms or engaged in particularly risky behaviors (no and no, except for the lack of monogamy, which can be considered as risky for medical purposes). Given the information provided, he asked me why I'd even obther with a test. I explained that I was a public health student, and this is what we do. Practice what you preach, right? I was a good, informed and very compliant patient. I know how it goes for medical training, so I wanted to make his job as simple as possible. I even made small talk and asked him about USC's med program (which is pretty darn hard to get into -- must raise my MCAT score about 4 points).

The doctor supervising him came in later. She had the student do a practice pelvic exam and pap smear. I sympathize with the guy because he was probably nervous (this was his first week in this particular rotation). He fumbled the speculum a little, and I did my best to not make him feel bad about it, even though I was in visible discomfort. I didn't feel the pap swab at all. Then he had to reach in with his fingers and palpate for irregularities. That was a bit clumsy and pinching and I did say, "Oww, oww, you're pinching!" I cut the student some slack, but egads, sometimes, you just gotta let him know what's up. After that, the doctor stepped in and redid the pelvic exam (because students aren't really allowed to diagnose things). She only took 30 seconds or so.

After that, they did a quick write up and let me go free. In two weeks, I have to go back and get my results. At this hospital, the default is to give you a print-out of the results. At Berkeley, you have to request them specifically, otherwise you only get a phone call *IF* something tests positive or abnormal.

So if any of you are really comfortable about getting tested and the like, I **HIGHLY** encourage you to go to a teaching hospital for the tests. They might fumble or falter a little, but the experience is invaluable for the students who practice on you.

And if testing makes you nervous, please stick to an experienced doctor. Be honest and do your best to relax.


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[This message has been edited by Gumdrop Girl (edited 09-21-2003).]


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Gumdrop Girl
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lab screwed up my results. uggh. must reschedule. this time, i can bypass the fumbling, though. they're probably just gonna make me pee into a cup.

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Love Scarleteen? By donating just $1, you can help keep us around.


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Kara Zor-El
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quote:
Originally posted by Gumdrop Girl:
lab screwed up my results. uggh.

Aww, babe, sorry to hear that. Here's hoping everything goes smoothy this time...

Good luck!
Kara


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tantaLizinShorty8
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This might sound strange-- but where do you go to get std testing and what do they do? I was going to call and make an appointment with my gynecologist but I've never gone before.. just to get on the pill. Do I get tested at the gyno? Or at a clinic (what exactly is one and where are they? doctor offices?) If it's at the gyno.. what do I say what I schedule an appointment? I need STD testing? I feel kinda ridiculous and shy about saying that. But I want to do it myself because I don't want my mom to know I'm sexually active (she might know I just don't feel comfortable coming out and saying it) and I can't ask her to call because she will ask why. Can anyone help me out? Obviously I'm new to this lol.
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Gumdrop Girl
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 568

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want to know about testing? check this out: http://www.scarleteen.com/infection/testing.html

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Be the doctor your parents always wanted you to marry.
Love Scarleteen? By donating just $1, you can help keep us around.


Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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