Documenting Social Injustice
The Moment that Changed it All
When I think back at all the times in my life, there is one that stands out above the rest. A defining moment that made me look at the world in a different life. This would be the first time that I got tested for STDs. The procedure wasn’t that bad, but the waiting period was the worst thing I have ever been through. Up until my freshman year of college, I had always been pretty responsible but after I entered college, I started to be persuaded by friends, alcohol and endless partying. A couple nights of unbridled, and unprotected mistakes led me on a path of fear and regret. I couldn’t rest for weeks knowing that I could have some kind of sexually transmitted disease, and it would’ve been my own fault. I would have acquired such a thing and there would be nobody else to blame but myself.
I finally got up the courage to go to the neighborhood clinic and get tested for everything. Blood was drawn, saliva was sampled and I was swabbed (in places we won’t mention) and I was told to come back in two weeks. Two weeks? Really?
On the way out, I was given a safety pack of condoms, lube, and instruction manuals that looked like a bunch of roadmaps. Night after night I would WebMD every symptom that I thought I had. I forced my throat to hurt by coughing mindlessly, and I pressed on every gland in my throat until they were swollen like the symptoms read. Finally, two weeks, and about 4 years off my life, I went back to the clinic. I brought my best friend with me and had my speeches prepared for my mom, my dad, my sister, my boss, every sexual partner I had, and all my friends. All different of course. These two weeks of preparation ended with a mere five-second speech of “Adam, your results came back negative. You are fine.” After this period of terror, the moment I found out that I had no STDs changed my life. I no longer have drunk nights of dangerous sexual encounters, and I always take the necessary precautions.