Relationships: The one test you haven’t been prioritizing

Jillian Kolman

Have you ever had sex? Oral sex? Digital sex? Penetrative sex? Shared a heroin needle? (PSA: Please don’t do heroin) Then getting tested wouldn’t be the worst idea!

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Not enough people get tested. Whether they’re scared of the process, the results or just don’t feel it’s necessary, it seems our generation is full of excuses to not get tested. But between on campus resources and countless free clinics in our area, there really isn’t any reason to not get tested.

I’ve been tested more times than I can remember, but at first I was horribly anxious. My best tip is, if you are nervous, have a good friend come along. Better yet, they can get tested with you and you can support each other. Whether they’re showing you pictures of puppies to distract from a needle in your arm or yelling their support through a door while you pee in a cup, a friend can make the entire process easier.

As for the results, a wise man once told me to not worry until there was something to worry about. Getting back negative results is an amazing feeling of both relief and happiness. Even if you weren’t that worried in the first place, having a confirmed, clean bill of health is a great feeling! On the flip side, getting back positive results can be very difficult, but once you know, you can take care of it and better protect both yourself and the people you care about. The majority of STI’s are curable, and the rest are treatable, so a positive result is not the end of the world. In the end, you’re only afraid of the unknown, so why not find out and make it known.

If there’s anyone who has never been in a situation where you are intamently exposed to anyone else and wouldn’t intentionally touch a needle with a ten foot pole, just remember: you can never be too careful. Also remember that you once came out of a vagina, which could make you a carrier, so there’s that.

It’s 2016, and we have the privilege of living in an amazing college town, so there are plenty of places close by that offer testing for little to no cost! Planned Parenthood is one of the closest, on Shields Street behind Qdoba, with the Alpha Center, a confidential Christian center, also close by at College and Pitkin. The Larimer County Department of Health is also just three miles north of campus, and you can even receive affordable testing right here on campus through the CSU Medical Center.

Between due dates, exams, jobs and living on our own, we have a lot of our plate. With that in mind, why allow this possible threat to be one more thing to worry about? So guys, if your package is looking swollen, hurting or peeing hurts like hell, get tested!! Ladies, if your monthly visitor keeps dropping by unannounced (like more than usual), if you’re itching like crazy downstairs or if that funky smell is actually coming from your nether-regions, get tested!! It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Collegian writer Jill Kolman can be reached at blogs@collegian.com or on Twitter at @JillKolman.