The Testing Diaries: Allie

The health center at my university is pretty awesome.

It provides free STI testing days throughout the year. Instead of making an appointment, students and non-students alike can just walk in, check in, and wait their turn, as it's run on a first-come, first-served basis. This particular event was for rapid HIV testing, where HIV results are given within just 10-15 minutes.

I visit my gynecologist annually, but I've never gone specifically to get tested for STIs/HIV. I attended this event curious about what the entire process was like.

I need to better understand how condoms can protect me from STIs.

I'm unclear on how condoms are supposed to be effective in preventing female-to-male contamination during "plain" sex, I mean insertion of the penis into the vagina. Let me explain. Latex is an effective barrier to virii and germs. I get that. As far as protecting the woman is concerned, I've no trouble believing it works....

What Safer Sex Isn't

Maybe you know what safer sex is. But do you also know what it isn't? Take a minute and fact-check your ideas about what can protect you from STIs and what cannot.