Let’s Talk About Sex

Everyone’s heard how important is to get tested. But what actually happens behind that heavy doctor’s door? Do they enter your special orifices with rubber gloves and a flashlight? What kind of excretions are involved? On a scale from alien probing to childbirth, exactly how much does it hurt??


There’s a lot of stigma around the topic of STIs, which means for some, the whole issue is clouded with fear and shame.  But never fear! This article will reveal the process to our readers, genital warts and all.


A Nice Day Out


How to Get Your Junk Tested


1. You wake up and it’s a beautiful day. After a nutritionally balanced Catercare breakfast and a glass of orange juice, you really feel like procrastinating from your assignment by going out into the sun and getting a coffee and an STI test.


2. You saunter into the doctor’s clinic. The friendly (and surprisingly attractive) receptionist smiles warmly at you, and either you book an appointment (and come back another day) or you get slotted into the waiting list. If you have a medicare card and it’s a bulk billing clinic, this will be free.


3. An old lady in the waiting room tell you you’re an ‘good looking youngster’ and you feel pretty good about yourself. Your doctor calls your name and finally the appointment begins.


4. There’s a really interesting poster on the wall of the doctor’s office. You say, “Hi, I’m just here to ask about STI tests.” Your doctor might ask you some easy questions but pretty soon he’s given you a referral to a pathology service.


5. A lot of clinics have an on-site pathology service, so you just walk around the corner and wait in another waiting room. You’re texting someone you have a bit of crush on, and they send you a ‘;)’. A kind nurse calls you up from the waiting room.


6. They take a sample of blood for a blood test. This kind of sucks, but you distract yourself by marvelling at the wonders of modern medicine.


7. The nurse gives you a cup for a urine test. Luckily you’re well hydrated from your cup of orange juice in the morning, and you do really well at urinating in the cup. You seal it all up, and it the warmth of the little cup comforts you as you walk from the bathroom to hand it back to the nurse.


8. That’s all! You’re free to go get your coffee with your good friend and tell them all about your test.  Your results will be available within a week.


So what do they actually test for in a process like that?


With a blood sample and a urine test they can check for gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, chlamydia and hepatitis B. They don’t check for herpes, as it will flag as positive if you’ve ever had a coldsore. If you’re concerned about herpes, the best way is to go to the doctor’s when the symptoms are present and get the wound/blister swabbed. They also don’t check for HPV, however they will check during routine pap smears, which women are recommended to have every two years from the age of twenty.


Why should you even care about this?


Obviously HIV is reknown for its serious consequences, but all of these STIs can have severe repercussions if left untreated. A lot of them are really straightforward infections, similar to an ear or eye infection, and the only reason they are so dangerous is because people go untreated for so long.


What if I’m not having casual sex?


If you’re in a mutually exclusive relationship, it might seem a bit ridiculous to get tested. Even then, beginning a habit of getting tested, reducing the stigma, and being able to be confident in your sexual health is totally worth an hour of your life and 100mL of your blood.


Clearly if you’re not sexually active at all, this might not particularly concern you. However, even oral sex can transmit infection. And, it’s your responsibility to be a rational, educated voice against stigma in our society. That’s not just a job for people engaging in sexy stuff, it’s a job for everyone.

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