7 Women Share What It Was Like to Be Diagnosed With An STD

“In the middle of a beautiful, crowded restaurant, he announced he had gonorrhoea.”Get an STD test and know your risk factors, always use protection, and get educated on the symptoms. Plus, don’t forget regular screen exams, as many STDs don’t show any symptoms at first. These seven women share what they learned when they got their HPV Test or other diagnoses.

“I went home, cried myself sick, and then made an appointment to get a test. Sure enough, I was positive. I didn’t have any symptoms at all, so I guess I’m glad he had the guts to tell me so I could get treated right away. My doctor put me on antibiotics, and I’ve been clean ever since.”

“He added that I should be safe from it as long as we didn’t have sex during an outbreak. I saw my doctor and got a full STD test. (Who knew what other ‘parting gifts’ his ex had given him?) I ended up positive for genital herpes. Also, I was positive in the HPV test in the profile. It hasn’t been as big a deal as I thought it would. I did dump that boyfriend, though. What says that kind of thing over coffee?!” (Want a revenge body? Kick-start your new, healthy routine with Women’s Health’s 12-Week Total-Body Transformation!)

‘Parting gifts’

 We hung out, but I didn’t know them super well. We got pretty drunk, and everyone was making out. People were heading off to bedrooms together. One guy was trying to get me to do the same. I was still a virgin and didn’t want my first time to be drunk with a virtual stranger, but all my friends were doing it (yes, as an adult, I realize how stupid that sounds), so I relented. Once we were in the back of his car, I chickened out, but I didn’t want to leave him hanging, so I offered to give him a blow job. We didn’t think we needed a condom because it wasn’t ‘real’ sex.

 I didn’t even think about getting it orally.

The doctor gave me a mega-dose of an antibiotic and a long lecture about safe sex. She also said I was lucky to have a sore throat because many people don’t show symptoms when they have an infection. But the result shows the truth. If it’s untreated, it can cause serious damage. I learned a lot from that experience, but the one downside was I didn’t have the guts to tell any of our friend groups about the diagnosis because I thought they’d think I was gross. So who knows how many other girls he infected?” Did he even know that he was an STD carrier? I think everyone should have an HPV test.

“I knew I had been clean before Jack, so I confronted him. It turns out that I hadn’t thought to ask him if he’d slept with anyone since his last STD test. He’d had a one-night stand with someone off of Tinder but didn’t think to tell me about it since he ‘felt fine’ afterwards. I’m now on medication for the rest of my life—which, by the way, is crazy expensive, even with my insurance. And it still really pisses me off every time I think about it. I did everything ‘rig, ht’, but because I asked the wrong question (or the right question the wrong way), I still got an infection. I haven’t talked to Jack since.”

False Negatives

“I am very active in online dating and often sleep with multiple partners in the same time frame. Because of this, I get regular STD tests and ask my partners about their statuses. The HPV Test is part of that, and I always insist on condoms. But then one ni, get the condom broke. It was the first time I’d slept with this particular guy, and I panicked. I ran to the doctor the next day and got a check.

“When all the results came back clean, I breathed a sigh of relief and figured I’d dodged the bullet. Then, a couple of months later, I got a call from a previous date who said I gave him herpes. I said it wasn’t possible, but I went in to get a herpes report anyhow, and this time, I tested positive. My doctor told me that it’s possible to be negative for herpes if there isn’t an active outbreak. So now I have herpes. I still haven’t had a typical outer peak, and I’m learning how to adjust my sex life around it. But the crazy part is that I found out through some other friends on the same dating site that the guy who infected me has indirectly led to over 50 infections in others and possibly even more. His condoms ‘break’ a lot.”

Over 50 infections

“We’ve been having unprotected sex for a year. I had to get an HPV test. The STD Test doctor said chances were good; I wouldn’t have it if he’d stayed consistent. He must not have been very good about taking them because he does have them. We haven’t broken up yet (I’m still not sure what I want to do), but this changes everything, especially because I want kids, and in some cases, a mother can pass herpes on to her baby.”