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.
We sometimes deal with a tough situation in direct service: a user comes in, and reports having contracted an STI; a user who also isn't a first-time user of our site or services, and who, in a previous conversation with us about pregnancy risks, blew off also talking about STIs and safer sex and turned down help we offered to them to reduce their STI risks, not just pregnancy risks.
This is one of those things where there's no joy or pride in being right: it stinks to be right about someone getting any kind of illness and being unhappy.
I was tested for the first time seven years ago, shortly after I had my first sexual experiences. Things did not go according to plan: though I'd insisted on condom use, the person I was with at the time had not honored my request. I wound up on Scarleteen to ask about pregnancy risks, and was advised to test for STIs.
Over the last few weeks, I have been sicker than sicker than sick. I managed to pick up whooping cough, which, combined with other health issues I already have, made my blood pressure dip to a very scary place, to boot. I had already been having some flare-ups from those other issues, so they made the whooping cough worse, it made them worse. Like plenty of uninsured people do, I tried to hold off on healthcare for as long as I could, but eventually had to cave and suck up the big bill so I could get the big meds and also be sure I wasn't, you know, dying or anything.
As we've explained in the past, like here, with proper use, condoms actually break very rarely. The common mythology that condoms are flimsy and break all the time is just that: mythology, not reality. Different studies on latex condom breakage tend to reflect a breakage rate of around .4%, or only 4 breaks in every 1,000 uses.
I'm 20 and have been with my partner for about two and a half years. We have a great relationship and are happy together. However, two years ago, when we first started sleeping together, I contracted genital herpes, even though we used condoms. I was a virgin before I slept with him so I knew it had come from him....