Remember our post, Good Girl with a STD. This was the beginning of our journey of promoting women’s health through personal experience. Here at Strut in HER Shoes, we proudly serve as the elevator of mindful conversation and safe space for persevering women. Keep reading below as 4 women share what it was really like to be diagnosed with an STD from women’s health mag.
I HAD AN AFFAIR WITH A MARRIED, WHO WAS HAVING AN AFFAIR.
“Two years ago, I started dating a married coworker. I never thought of myself as one of ‘those’ women and I knew it was wrong but somehow he knew just what to say to me to keep me coming back. Then one night he said he wanted to take me out somewhere special because he had something important to tell me. I stupidly thought he was going to tell me he was leaving his wife (like he promised). Instead, in the middle of a beautiful, crowded restaurant, he announced he had gonorrhea.
Even worse, he’d contracted the STD from his other mistress, a girl I didn’t even know about. I honestly don’t know which I was angrier about—the fact that he was cheating on me, too, or the fact that we were in a fancy public place so I couldn’t scream at him.
I THOUGHT I HAD STREP THROAT BUT IT WAS REALLY CLAMYDIA
“In high school I went to a party with a bunch of kids from school. We hung out but I didn’t know them super well. We got pretty drunk and everyone started making out and heading off to bedrooms together. One guy was trying to get me to do the same. I was still a virgin and didn’t want my first time to be drunk with a virtual stranger, but all my friends were doing it (yes, as an adult, I realize how stupid that sounds now) so I relented. Once we were in the back of his car, I chickened out but I didn’t want to leave him hanging so I offered to give him a blow job. We didn’t think we needed a condom because it wasn’t ‘real’ sex.
“Later that week, I came down with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a runny nose, and a really sore throat. My mom thought I had strep throat and took me in to get tested. We both were shocked when the test came back positive… for chlamydia. I didn’t even think about getting an STD through oral. The doctor gave me a mega-dose of an antibiotic and a really long lecture about safe sex. She also said I was lucky that I got the sore throat because lots of people don’t show symptoms of chlamydia when they’re infected, and if it’s untreated it can cause serious damage. I learned a lot from that experience but the one downside was I didn’t have the guts to tell any of our friend group about the diagnosis because I thought they’d think I was gross.
So who knows how many other girls he infected?”
HE LIED ABOUT TESTING CLEAN
“I am very careful with my sexual health and always have been. So the first time I slept with Jack (not his real name), I asked him before any clothes came off if he’d been tested for STDs. He said yes, and that he was 100 percent clean. We still used a condom that time but as we got serious we decided it was fine to ditch the protection. I had an IUD so pregnancy wasn’t a risk and we knew we wanted to be together long-term so we dropped the condoms. A couple of months later I started to feel some itching and burning in my crotch and then I got a super painful bump. I got it checked out and discovered I had genital herpes.
“I knew I had tested clean before Jack so I confronted him. It turns out that I hadn’t thought to ask him if he’d slept with anyone since his last STD test. He’d had a one-night stand with someone off of Tinder but didn’t think to tell me about it since he ‘felt fine’ afterward. I’m now on medication for the rest of my life—which by the way is crazy expensive even with my insurance—and it still really pisses me off every time I think about it. I did everything ‘right’ but because I asked the wrong question (or the right question the wrong way), I still got infected. I haven’t talked to Jack since.”
I INFECTED SOMEONE WITH AN STD, I NEVER KNEW I HAD
“I am very active in online dating and will often sleep with multiple partners in the same time frame. Because of this I get regular testing for STDs, ask my partners about their statuses, and always insist on condoms. But then one night the condom broke. It was the first time I’d slept with this particular guy and I panicked. I ran to the doctor the next day and got checked.
“When all the tests came back clean, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and figured I’d dodged the bullet. Then a couple of months later, I got a call from a previous date who said I gave him herpes. I said it wasn’t possible but I went in to get tested anyhow and this time I tested positive. My doctor told me that it’s possible to test negative for herpes if there isn’t an active outbreak. So now I have herpes. I still haven’t had a typical outbreak and I’m learning how to adjust my sex life around it. But the crazy part is that I found out through some other friends on the same dating site that the guy who infected me has indirectly led to over 50 infections in others and possibly even more. Apparently his condoms ‘break’ a lot.”
These are just a few personal stories of women with a STD.
Our friends over at, Testing.Com says:
“Millions of Americans currently have active STDs and don’t know it, according to the CDC. This is a major problem with serious implications for public health, as many of the most common STDs show few or no symptoms until they reach the advanced stages when irreparable harm may be done. Many STDs are treatable if discovered early, and effective testing is often the only way to identify several of the more serious infections before they show obvious symptoms”
Across the country, a survey by the National Coalition of STD Directors found that 83% of STD programs have paused services and community visits, and 66% of clinics reported a decrease in sexual health screening and testing due to COVID-19. Here at Testing.com, we wanted to play our part to help individuals that cannot make it to a clinic or do not have an established source of care access STD testing through all the available telemedicine platforms and at-home tests. You can learn more about it here:
This post is sponsored by Testing.com