Getting Tested

“Sexy germs”, also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are something you should be aware of if you are involved in sex stuff. Getting tested for STIs is a part of life, just like getting your blood pressure and other stuff checked out. Just because someone is getting tested for STIs does not mean they sleep around or are bad people; getting checked for STIs means that the person cares about their own health, and they care about the health of the person they are doing sex stuff with.

So what happens during an appointment?

You can see a nurse, nurse practitioner, or doctor at a local clinic or nursing station. The health care practitioner (let’s call them HCP) will ask you questions, some of which are kinda personal. It may be hard to talk about stuff like your pee, genitals, and what sex stuff you are active with, but the HCP is professional and is not making any judgments. The HCP sees people of all ages for this kind of stuff and only cares that you are happy and healthy.

In order to test for specific STIs, a sample needs to be sent out to a lab. Some STIs (like chlamydia and gonorrhea) usually only require a urine test. You pee in a cup, and give it to the HCP. In some cases, a swab of the throat may be done. The swab looks like a super long q-tip, and is gently rolled at the tissue at the back of the throat. Some STIs (like syphilis and HIV) require a blood test. The HCP will ask you to roll up your sleeve, and they will use a needle to draw blood from your arm. You can feel the needle go in; it can feel like a pinch, but this only lasts a few seconds (maybe a minute). Other STIs, like herpes, require a swab to the areas where there are sores.

The HCP will tell you what to expect when the results come in. They will also review the super important stuff about making sex safer.

This video is awesome! It is a real doctor who walks you through what an appointment is usually like for this kind of stuff. The video also talks about birth control at the start; just hang on until he talks about STIs: