Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ex-Boyfriends & STDs: What I've learned from getting an STD for the first time.

I've gone back and forth about writing this post, but in the end, I think my being honest will not embarrass me and might help some women.
I broke up with Jason, my very on again-off again boyfriend, for the 13, 209th time about a month ago. I caught him in yet another lie.
I can't remember if it was right before or right after, but I noticed some different things going on "down there." Mostly, it was just weird spotting. I have Mirena, and that's pretty much the norm, so I chalked it up to that. The list of symptoms kept growing until I finally got into my doctor's office yesterday.

According to the NIH and the National Library of Medicine
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

Trichomoniasis, also commonly referred to as "trich," is commonly found in those who are HIV positive. The other big complication is PID, pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause infertility. Trich also puts the infected person at a higher risk for HIV and chlamydia because of the inflammation it causes.

Did I mention I don't have health insurance? Nope! This little emergency gyno trip will end up costing me $500 at a minimum.

I have to wait for the rest of the tests to come back to make sure I don't have chlamydia or gonorrhea. I also have to have an AIDS test not only because of the behavior of the man who claimed to love me so much, but because the woman he believes to have contracted this from is also an African-American woman. African-American women are the largest risk group for HIV/AIDS. He admitted (mostly because there really was denying. If he could have denied it, he would have) to having unprotected sex with this woman twice. 

I also need the AIDS test because come to find out, Hampton Roads has the 2nd highest STD and HIV/AIDS rates in the country. 

Here's an excerpt year old article from the Daily Press that will, most likely, be the focus of my nightmares for the next few weeks:

Eastern Virginia has the highest percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS in the state.
"We have a significant local epidemic," said Dr. Edward Oldfield, director of Eastern Virginia Medical School's infectious disease division.That means people here are at a higher risk of infection — that engaging in unprotected sex is riskier here than it is in other parts of the country, Oldfield said. Once an infectious disease gets into a community, it spreads more easily here than it would elsewhere.
Oldfield, who's director of nine HIV clinics in Hampton Roads, says they see one newly diagnosed person a day on average. They're treating about 2,000 people at clinics in Williamsburg, Gloucester County, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Chesapeake.Who's at risk?More black Virginians than whites were diagnosed with HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia, the four sexually transmitted diseases tracked by the Virginia Department of Health. Black residents made up about 62 percent of the HIV diagnoses in 2009. Between 2005 and 2009, black residents made up 63 percent of syphilis diagnoses, 76 percent of gonorrhea diagnoses and 55 percent of chlamydia diagnoses, according to the state health department.
Newport News tied with Virginia Beach for the third-highest percentage of diagnosed cases of chlamydia in the state between 2005 and 2009, at 7 percent. Norfolk had the highest at 9 percent.
Norfolk had the second-highest percentage of gonorrhea diagnoses in the state in 2009 at 11 percent, followed by Newport News at 8 percent.
The number of people diagnosed with syphilis in Virginia has increased every year since 2005, hitting 547 in 2009. Norfolk, at 12 percent, is tied with Richmond for the highest percentage of people diagnosed with syphilis in the state between 2005 and 2009. About 5 percent of the state's cases were in Newport News.
About 10 percent of the people infected with HIV or AIDS in the state live in Norfolk, making it the city or county with the second-highest percentage of people living with HIV or AIDS in the state, according to 2010 health department figures, which were released last month.About 4 percent live in Newport News and about 3 percent in Hampton.
I've never had an STD. Don't get me wrong, I had a lot  of fun in my 20s, but I was smart. I protected myself.  I never thought that the man I gave my heart to would put my health at such a high risk.

So, I'm trying not to judge myself and trying not to feel sorry for myself. I'm not typically the "why me" kinda girl. But seriously, how do you come back from something like this? How do you ever get over such a betrayal? Not only did the guy lie to me, but he didn't even have the fucking decency to use a condom. How do you trust that the next guy won't do the exact same thing?
I have a hard enough time opening up and being emotional to begin with. I'm just not that kind of person. I don't like to be in that vulnerable place. My heart is definitely harder today. Am I just supposed to forget this and tiptoe through the fucking tulips like nothing ever happened?
My advice: No matter how you think you know him, how good a guy you think he is, use a condom. He might be even greater than you think he is. He might be honest and trustworthy, but he might not be. And, is it worth the risk?
The shitty thing is that these men can go around footloose and fancy free and screw whomever they choose with little to no consequence. HPV doesn't give them cervical cancer. Trich won't render them infertile. Most STDs don't really affect men. That's why they're so scary for us chicks. Most of the time, these assholes have no idea they have anything wrong down there. You and I both know that if all STDs caused any symptoms in men, we'd have no more STDs! These idiots will drop everything and teleport themselves to the doctor when their pee-pees aren't kosher.
Ladies- protect yourselves. Educate yourselves! Don't be embarrassed. You're not the one who was thoughtless, careless, and downright stupid. But remember, just because you did nothing wrong, you still have to face the consequences of his douchy-ness.