To continue our series – STD Interviews – this woman wrote in the other day courageously determined to share her story about HPV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and a Herpes risk.
It takes strength to share this openly and is testament to the plethora of people out there encountering STDs every day and often before the age of 25.
Thank you for your submission and may others find reassurance through your words – you are NOT alone!
HPV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and the risk of Herpes.
1. How old are you?
I am 30, baby…
2. What do you do for a living?
3. What STD do you have/have you had?
I have had HPV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and have been exposed to Herpes, though I was lucky to not become infected with it.
4. How long have you had or known you have an STD?
I was 20 when I got HPV, and 22 when I contracted the others.
I found out I had HPV when I was pregnant for my son. I found out I had Gonorrhea and Chlamydia because I knew something was not right down there.
5. Do you know how you contracted this STD?
Well, before I was with my son’s father, I would go and get checked every 6 to 8 months. I had never had an abnormal pap smear. We both agreed that before we went without using protection we should both go down and be tested. I was clear, so I can only assume I contracted it from him….
With the Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, we had been separated but trying to work it out and still sleeping together. I had not had another partner, however, I came to find out he had had more than a few.
So, once again, I am lead to believe they came from him… I’ve never heard of an STD fairy frolicking around sharing the wealth.
6. How has your life changed since you contracted an STD?
It has made me more cautious – even with serious relationships. It takes only one time to change your life…
Being treated for the HPV narrowed my chances of ever being able to carry another child full term again…
When I was exposed to Herpes; I had dated the man for 4 months and he never told me he had it. It wasn’t until he left me at his home, because he got called in on a Saturday. I went into the medicine cabinet to get some pain killers for a headache and I saw a prescription that I found out. That scared me. I actually left and didn’t speak with him again. It wasn’t because he had an STD. I liked him and would have continued dating him despite it! It was because he had kept it from me and did not give me a choice of exposing myself to something I could have for the rest of my life.
He took the choice from me and I could not forgive that.
7. Do the people who know you have an STD treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?
Well it is not always a topic you openly talk about.
There have been a few that knew that tried to make me feel dirty and ashamed.
But for the most part, people that I have spoken to accept it and it has not influenced or changed their opinion of me in the slightest.
8. Are you currently under treatment for your STD? If so, please share whether you have explored prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or holistic and natural approaches.
With the HPV I had to have a LEEP done 6 months after my son was born. It is where they take a laser and carve out the cancerous cells. I had to be checked every 6 months for two years, and than every year after. It has been almost 9 years since I have had an abnormal pap smear.
For the others I just took some pills and it was gone.
9. Has having an STD hindered past relationships?
Not really. Except the time I was not told.
10. Do you have a significant other? If so, how has this STD affected your partner?
No. I have taken time off dating to focus on myself and my son and making our life strong and stable before I bring someone else into it.
I have not found someone special enough to be included in our world at this time…
11. Have you been sexually active with someone since contracting an STD whom you did not tell you had an STD?
Since I have not had an abnormal pap in so long, I do not feel that I have to, however, I do.
I have never had a negative reaction.
12. How have you changed as a result of contracting an STD?
It hasn’t really ever changed me. You are who you are. The core of yourself does not change because you have had an STD.
It does not make you a better or worse person. It does not define who you are.
It might make you a bit more cautious and more aware of your actions, but in this day and age, is that really a bad thing? The only thing that has changed forever is: if I one day decide to have another child, because of the LEEP, I have a 20 percent higher chance of not being able to carry to full term.
13. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with The STD Project?
I am participating because I want others to know they should not be ashamed.
There are many stories and many things that we all regret or wish we could take back. There are others out there that, like me, have been dealt bad hands and may be scared to speak out. And there are some that feel ashamed and have a hard time telling someone, ‘look, I have an STD’… You need to find your voice. You need to forgive, accept and move on. And you need to be honest with those you choose to share your bed with.
If you can not trust someone to love you and accept you because you have an STD, how can you trust them enough to take them into your bed?
By hiding the truth, you only help spread the stereo-type and potentially risk what could be a happy relationship.
By hiding you make it unhealthy. And there is no where to grow from something built upon deceptions.
Those that know you, know your worth. They will love you anyway. No matter what… And those that don’t or judge and degrade you will never be capable of walking a mile in anyone’s shoes and are not worth investing in, let alone bringing into your bed!
Everything helps shape who you are, but nothing defines you unless you allow it to. Never be afraid. And always speak up….
What do you think about the author’s perspective? Did you have a similar experience or do you feel differently about contracting an STD? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!