We Asked People To Tell Us Their STI Status. Here Are Their Stories



sexedweek

Health

“The hardest part of having herpes is getting past the social
stigma.”

Posted on April 22, 2017, 13:01 GMT

Amanda Berglund for BuzzFeed News

There’s a harmful stigma surrounding sexually transmitted
infections, which implies that being diagnosed with one is
shameful, embarrassing, or “your fault” based on your sexual
history. But the truth is anyone can get an STI, whether
they’ve had one partner or 50 partners.

In hopes of breaking down these stereotypes,
BuzzFeed Health asked people of all ages, genders, and
sexualities to tell us what STI(s) they’ve been diagnosed
with and how it has affected their lives.

Here’s what they said:

1. “He was kind of surprised that I
wasn’t mad at him and that I was just grateful that he let me
know.”

“I was visiting a different city for a few days and hooked up
with a guy from Grindr. We had some amazing sex and went our
separate ways. He messaged me four days later saying he had
just been diagnosed with chlamydia, to which I responded
something along the lines of, ‘No big deal, thanks for
letting me know!’

He was kind of surprised that I wasn’t mad at him and that I
was just grateful that he let me know. After all of this, we
were both so happy with how the interaction went down that
we’ve stayed great friends. We always look each other up when
we’re visiting each other’s cities and we’ve even gone on
vacation together once.”

—21/Male/Gay/Chlamydia

2. “She assured me that a round of
medication would clear it up and that in no way should I feel
ashamed or dirty.”

“I was a sophomore in college and went out with a guy I met
on a dating site, who ended up forcing himself on me in the
back of my car. When I confronted him about the symptoms
afterward, he got angry and said that he ‘should’ve expected
that from me.’ I was so ashamed and afraid others would have
the same reaction, so I didn’t tell anyone.

Two weeks later, as I sat crying in a paper gown over my
results that diagnosed me with trichomoniasis, I finally
opened up to my doctor. She assured me that a round of
medication would clear it up and that in no way should I feel
ashamed or dirty. Telling someone, especially someone who had
a clear understanding of what was going on with me medically,
was a huge relief. And after a round of antibiotics, I was in
the clear. Emotionally, the entire situation has taken years
to process.”

—27/Female/Bisexual/Trichomoniasis

3. “I had pretty amazing celebratory
sex with my ex once the crabs cleared up, which was a nice
way to end the whole ordeal.”

“I found a bump on my penis, so I immediately went to the
clinic to get it checked out. They told me it looked like
herpes, so they gave me a cream to treat the discomfort and
sent me home. I decided to be responsible and call everyone
I’d had sex with over the last six months and give them a
heads up that they might be exposed, which made for some
really awkward conversations.

But the herpes cream didn’t help, and after a month the bump
turned into a ton of bumps all over my junk and my butt, so I
went back to the clinic to see what was up. I got a different
doctor this time who immediately identified it as crabs, not
herpes. I got the proper treatment this time, washed the hell
out of all of my clothes and bedding, and then called all my
past partners again to let them know the correct diagnosis. I
had pretty amazing celebratory sex with my ex once the crabs
cleared up, which was a nice way to end the whole traumatic
ordeal.”

— 38/Male/Gay/Crabs (pubic lice)

4. “The great news came back that I did
not miscarry, but I did have chlamydia.”

“During the four years I was with my ex, I found out that he
was having a lot of affairs behind my back. When we broke up,
I started talking to my old middle school crush who would go
on to be the love of my life. As time went on, we tried to
have a baby and it took months. We finally got pregnant and
one day I started heavily bleeding. I was told I was having a
miscarriage, but as they did further testing, great news came
back that I did not miscarry, but I did have chlamydia. I had
to tell my boyfriend, who was a virgin before me, that I gave
him an STI that almost cost us our child.”

—28/Female/Straight/Chlamydia

5. “I have a running prescription for
Valtrex as needed for outbreaks and it really helps.”

“I had only had one sexual partner, my long-term boyfriend at
the time, who was clear of any STIs. I remember waking up
with vicious blisters (you can imagine where) that were so
painful I couldn’t walk. I thought it was a UTI gone wrong.
When I went to my OB-GYN, they told me immediately that the
blisters looked like herpes.

I cried and cried during the exam where they actually used a
special acid to break open the blisters to get the fluid out
in order to test it. They called two days later and simply
said, ‘You tested positive for HSV-2, which is genital
herpes. We will call an antiviral in to your pharmacy.’
That’s all they said. I was 19, terrified, and my boyfriend
was VERY confused as to how this happened. I have a running
prescription for Valtrex as needed for outbreaks and it
really helps. I’m grateful for modern medicine!”

—24/Female/Straight/HSV-2

6. “If I hadn’t waited, my issues would
not have escalated so badly.”

“My partner kept complaining that his penis was hurting him
and he was having burning pain that led to discharge. He got
diagnosed and treated almost right away, but I was stubborn
and didn’t get myself treatment. We were still having sex and
eventually I had pus-like fluid leaking out of my anus,
intense itching, and I couldn’t control my bowel movements
because my anus was prolapsing. I ended up going
to get tested and had more than one strain of gonorrhea, so I
had to get multiple shots, antibiotics, and have my
gastroenterologist place my colon back inside of my body. If
I hadn’t waited, my issues would not have escalated so
badly.”

—24/Male/Gay/Gonorrhea

Amanda Berglund for BuzzFeed News

7. “My husband swore that he had been
faithful and this was from before we were together.”

“Forget the stereotype of catching an STI due to having sex
with too many partners, I caught mine with the first guy I
ever had sex with. We married a few months later and I didn’t
realize I had an STI until my first Pap smear, about a year
later. Imagine my surprise when I got that phone call. My
husband swore that he had been faithful and this was from
before we were together. He said he caught this before and
thought the treatment worked, but that he had never gone back
to get checked again. I felt shame while I was getting
treated. I felt that it was somehow my fault. We ended up
divorcing a few months later, for other reasons. It did teach
me a lesson, that anyone can catch an STI, so be safe.”

—18/Female/Straight/Chlamydia

8. “Telling him about my infection was
definitely one of hardest conversations I’ve ever
had.”

“I was always one of those people who wasn’t afraid to ask
when someone had been tested last and never really slept with
people I didn’t know. So to find out from my doctor that I
had HSV-2 was shocking. HSV is spread by skin-to-skin contact
and a condom is often not sufficient protection. After
finding out I have HSV, I haven’t been comfortable having sex
with anyone. I don’t want to be the reason someone gets an
STI.

I recently met a guy that I really like and it seems like we
could be heading towards dating soon. Telling him about my
infection was definitely one of hardest conversations I’ve
ever had. For me, I will always want to keep him safe, but I
accept that may not always be possible. If we start dating, I
want him to be able to make that choice for himself.”

—26/Male/Gay/HSV-2

9. “I feel that I got this from having
unprotected sex with another girl, which at the time didn’t
seem risky.”

“Neither of us could get pregnant since we’re both girls, and
I figured she didn’t have HIV or AIDS. But now I know there
are WAY more risks than that. HPV can lead to cervical
cancer, and I had to have a procedure (LEEP) to have cervical abnormal cells
removed. No one ever educated me about HPV and I still have
so many questions about it, but I don’t know where to get the
answers.”

—26/Female/Pansexual/HPV

10. “Everything was okay until my dad
found out, because he was still on my online account with my
doctor, since I was a minor.”

“I had just turned 18, and after a few weeks of hanging out
with this guy, we decided to have sex, unprotected, for the
first time. Two weeks later, he messaged me telling me he
found out he has chlamydia and that I should get tested,
which would be easy, but not when you’re still living with
your parents and don’t want them to know. So I came up with
some excuse about my birth control so I could see my doctor.
The doctor gave me tests, diagnosed me, and gave me some
antibiotics.

Everything was okay until my dad found out because he was
still on my online account with my doctor, because I was a
minor. We never talked, but he did send me an email that said
to make sure my partner and I got tested and included a link
to the WebMD site about chlamydia. It was super embarrassing
and took me a while to not be ashamed, but as I’ve gotten
older I’ve talked to friends and realized that it’s more
common than I thought. It’s just a part of the past now.”

—23/Female/Bisexual/Chlamydia

11. “Most of the time it clears up on
its own, but for me that wasn’t the case.”

“I found out I had HPV after getting an abnormal result on my
Pap smear, then found out I had moderate to severe dysplasia
(precancerous cells on my cervix) after getting a biopsy. I
had a normal Pap only one year prior and was utterly baffled
at the progression.

I’ve only had three sexual partners in my life, I’ve gotten
the vaccine, I’m healthy, I’m young, and I exercise daily.
More importantly, I had no symptoms. I told my boyfriend and
he was a bit worried, but there are no [recommended] tests
for HPV in men. I don’t know who I got it from, or when, as
this particular disease can lay dormant for years. Most of
the time it clears up on its own, but for me that wasn’t the
case. I’m having surgery next week to remove the bad cells,
and hopefully they’ll be gone for good. Ladies, know how
important it is to have regular Pap smear tests.”

—28/Female/Straight/HPV

12. “I shouldn’t have to walk around
with a scarlet letter because of it.”

“I was first diagnosed in my early 20s, after dating my now
long-term boyfriend. I was not happy at all because obviously
who wants that diagnosis, especially knowing the strain I had
was high-risk for cervical cancer. Thankfully, the amount of
high-risk cells was so low we did nothing more than keep an
eye on it for two years or so, until it was no longer showing
up on my Pap smears. Fast forward a few years later, I get a
phone call after a routine Pap and it was back. I was
devastated. It’s a constant worry and root of anxiety for me.
I just wish people could understand I contracted a virus that
could possibly cause cancer one day and that’s scary enough
in itself. I shouldn’t have to walk around with a scarlet
letter because of it.”

—30/Female/Bisexual/HPV

Amanda Berglund for BuzzFeed News

13. “A few months after the assault
happened, the current guy I was seeing told me I gave him
some form of STI, but I didn’t have any symptoms so I had no
idea.”

“I had been messing around with a coworker for a few months,
and I was sexually assaulted towards the beginning of the
relationship. I was ashamed of what happened so I didn’t tell
anyone about it and tried to push it out of my mind. A few
months after the assault happened, the current guy I was
seeing told me I gave him some form of STI, but I didn’t have
any symptoms so I had no idea. He yelled at me, called me
stupid, and even kindly informed me that if it had been HIV
he would have ‘murdered me.’ That night I drove to Miami and
attempted to kill myself. Luckily I didn’t go through with it
and was able to be cured from the STIs I had and have moved
on from that point in my life.”

—20/Female/Straight/Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

14. “My entire body was shaking and I
couldn’t look him in the eye as I told him.”

“I had just returned from living in Amman, Jordan, where I
had a fling with a guy. A few weeks after I returned I
noticed these very painful white bumps on my genitals. I went
to my gynecologist and was diagnosed almost immediately with
HSV-2. I was diagnosed the day before my boyfriend came to
visit (who had been waiting for me to get home from
overseas). We hadn’t seen each other in over a year at this
point. We were sitting in my parents basement, he knew I was
being distant and just wanted me to tell him what was going
on.

My entire body was shaking and I couldn’t look him in the eye
as I told him. His response was that we would figure it out
and he wasn’t running away. It was very difficult in the
beginning. I was not in a good head space and felt gross and
ashamed. I was diagnosed four years ago, he is still
STI-free, and we are getting married next month.”

—26/Female/Straight/HSV-2

15. “I had been patiently awaiting the
results of my test just so my new girlfriend and I could get
the ball rolling, physically.”

“I was at work, teaching a math class, when I got a call
saying that I had contracted syphilis. I had been patiently
awaiting the results of my test just so my new girlfriend and
I could get the ball rolling, physically. The nurse said I
needed to come get a shot, so I left work as soon as the
school day was over and got two massive shots. I told my
girlfriend what happened and she was actually really cool
about it. She was just glad I was honest in the end.”

—26/Male/Bisexual/Syphilis

16. “I was dealing with the news of
having herpes, while dealing with the pain from the sexual
assault.”

“Finding out I was diagnosed with genital herpes was
devastating. I contracted it after being drugged and sexually
assaulted by three guys, so I was dealing with the news of
having herpes, while dealing with the pain from the sexual
assault. I knew something was wrong down there about four
days after, but was scared to seek medical treatment due to
fear.

Due to unbearable pain, I finally went to the doctor who told
me that it looked like herpes but they were going to do a
culture to verify. Getting that diagnoses was one of the
lowest points in my life. I was upset, scared, mad,
depressed, etc. I even thought about suicide. I spent hours
on the Internet and ordered multiple books online so that I
could gain as much knowledge as possible. It took me years to
realize that just because I have herpes, that doesn’t mean
there is anything wrong with me.”

—28/Female/Straight/Genital herpes

17. “Every year I have to have an anal
Pap smear to check for abnormal cells.”

“I was diagnosed by my dermatologist who referred me to a
colon/rectal specialist. I got extremely lucky with the
doctor that I chose; she is absolutely amazing. Not only can
anal warts be on the outside, but there is a couple of inches
inside the anus where they can grow as well, and these can
cause anal cancer. While unlikely to progress that far, the
biopsy of mine came back pre-cancerous.

So every year I have to have an anal Pap smear to check for
abnormal cells. So far, every one I’ve gotten has come back
with some type of abnormal cell and every time I have to be
put under general anesthesia and have them surgically
removed. I’ve only had to tell a couple of partners, and each
time they’ve taken it extremely well. I’ve been with my
boyfriend now for over a year and it’s just something that I
have to monitor and take care of.”

—31/Male/Gay/HPV with anal warts

18. “His ex-girlfriend called to let me
know that he had given her herpes and that I needed to get
tested.”

“I was 20, fresh out of a three-year-relationship, and had
rushed into another knowing it wasn’t healthy for me. I asked
him before we had sex if he had been tested recently and he
lied and said he had. Long story short, I found out a few
weeks later that the ‘chaffing’ I was having wasn’t chaffing
at all. His ex-girlfriend called to let me know that he had
given her herpes and that I needed to get tested. I was
mortified! I went to my doctor and, honestly, I wish I had
gone to somewhere like Planned Parenthood. My doctor was very
condescending and gave me my test results over the phone.

Once I knew my status, I left the relationship and worked on
myself. I told my parents and siblings and none of them were
upset or thought less of me. Had I not been tested when I
was, I probably wouldn’t even know I had an STI because my
initial outbreak was the only one I’ve ever had. I still have
my days where I get down about it, but I never let it keep me
down.”

—24/Female/Straight/HSV-2

Amanda Berglund for BuzzFeed News

19. “Even though it had been out of my
control, it still felt like my fault.”

“I’d contracted the STI as a result of a sexual assault and
was in a new relationship at the time. I felt fear and shame.
I felt absolutely disgusting, and so angry at myself because
I KNEW how to practice safe sex, and even though it had been
out of my control, it still felt like my fault. I hadn’t
slept with my new boyfriend and didn’t until I knew I was
clear of infection. The treatment was quick and easy (just
four antibiotic pills) and the nurse who saw me was very
supportive and understanding, which made everything seem a
lot easier. I told my parents, who were equally understanding
and sympathetic, and I managed to contact my attacker to let
him know what he had, which was a cathartic thing for me to
do. I felt satisfaction in knowing he was in the position I’d
been in a few weeks prior.”

—18/Female/Straight/Chlamydia

20. “I almost don’t want to try and date
again because I’m worried I won’t be accepted with this
permanent condition.”

“I was very sick for a few weeks and it got to the point
where I was so dizzy that I couldn’t drive, so I finally went
to the hospital. They told me it looked like I had herpes,
which put a wedge between me and the girl I was with even
though she had brought it into the relationship. I’m
currently single now and almost don’t want to try and date
again because I’m worried I won’t be accepted with this
permanent condition. I do try to find humor in the situation
though and stay focused on work and being a father.”

—29/Male/Straight/Genital Herpes

FYI: The first time someone has an outbreak of genital
herpes, they may experience flu-like symptoms, according to
the CDC.

21. “I called my ‘friends with benefits’
and told him. He said his girlfriend (who I had no idea
about) just got it too.”

“At first I thought it was a weird yeast infection, but it
was so incredibly painful that I began to get worried and
decided to go to Planned Parenthood. When the nurse saw the
outbreak she knew it was herpes and I just sobbed for two
hours. I called my ‘friends with benefits’ and told him. He
said his girlfriend (who I had no idea about) just got it
too. Ever since, it’s been hard to tell new partners. I’ve
been told many times to straight up leave their houses. But
herpes is NOT a big deal and the ‘herpblr’ community on Tumblr has helped
me a lot with gaining back my confidence.”

—24/Female/Bisexual/Genital Herpes (140)

22. “I got it from my now-husband, who
has HSV-1 cold sores and transferred them to me when he went
down on me.”

“I got it from my now-husband, who has HSV-1 cold sores and
transferred them to me when he went down on me shortly after
we started dating. Apparently, I had never been exposed to
any herpes virus before because I had a horrific outbreak of
open, painful, oozing sores all over my mouth and my
genitals. I was out of work for a week, couldn’t eat anything
but applesauce, and I could barely walk. I had a fever of 104
degrees and was constantly on hydrocodone. To learn that it
was ‘just cold sores’ made me feel like my body was incapable
of being normal, like I was inferior for having a severe
reaction, and now I’m cursed with this STI for the rest of my
life. Luckily my husband was incredibly supportive and we are
doing just fine.”

—Female/30/Straight/HSV-1

23. “I had noticed a discharge (like
cottage cheese) and an unpleasant smell that was getting
worse.”

“I assumed I was having a yeast infection and didn’t think it
could be anything else. However, my boyfriend was having a
physical when his doctor noticed slight
inflammation/discharge in his penis, then recommended
testing. After testing positive for chlamydia, he informed
me, and I had myself tested. Of course I tested positive, and
quickly began a round of antibiotics. Thankfully I’ve been
clear ever since!”

—21/Female/Straight/HPV and Chlamydia

24. “The nurse said, ‘You have
chlamydia, pick up your medication at Walgreens,’ and that
was that.”

“I went in for birth control and got tested as a
recommendation. I called for my results and the nurse said
‘you have chlamydia, pick up your medication at Walgreens,’
and that was that.”

—21/Female/Straight/Chlamydia

25. “After I told my partner, she made
me bleach-clean her shower, probably the worst day of my
life.”

“I felt terrible, stressful, shameful and the only person who
made me feel safe for a long time was the woman at Planned
Parenthood who diagnosed me. After I told my partner at the
time, she made me bleach-clean her shower after I used it,
probably the worst day of my life. Needless to say we’re no
longer together.”

—29/Female/Lesbian/Genital Herpes

Amanda Berglund for BuzzFeed News

26. “My ‘FWB’ didn’t leave me and we’ve
been in a relationship ever since.”

“I got diagnosed after one of my yearly checkups. I was
honest with my ~friends with benefits~ at the time and told
him I had no idea how this happened since I’ve always used
condoms. We used condoms too, but he got tested just in case
and it turned out I had given it to him. While I beat myself
up about it, my mom tried to constantly remind me that the
men who truly cared about dating me for me would be there.
She was right, my ‘FWB’ didn’t leave me and we’ve been in a
relationship ever since.”

—22/Female/Heterosexual/Genital herpes

27. “My doctor never made me feel gross
and I was reassured that you can even contract HPV if you
religiously practice safe sex.”

“My doctor was super understanding and overwhelmingly
supportive throughout the process. She never made me feel
gross and I was reassured that you can even contract HPV if
you religiously practice safe sex. It’s frustrating because I
have to plan a surgery to remove growths almost every year.
It’s not as bad now because I know what to expect and I can
plan for it. It was very hard telling my now fiancé that I
struggle with this, but I was honest upfront, and he has been
so understanding. It has not negatively impacted our
relationship.”

—26/Male/Gay/HPV

28. “It was such a horrible way to find
out the truth about our relationship.”

“Considering I’d been with the same partner for almost two
years, getting diagnosed was my confirmation that he was
indeed cheating. This was after my yearly check-up. I was at
work when I received the phone call and I just broke down and
cried. Treatment was a single dose of antibiotics and easy to
fix. But it was such a horrible way to find out the truth
about our relationship.”

—23/Female/Straight/Trichomoniasis

29. “I no longer saw myself as
attractive. I thought no one would ever want to be with me
again.”

“I first started having symptoms spring break of my senior
year in college. I had blisters which were incredibly
painful. I couldn’t walk, sit, or pee. I laid in bed spread
eagle, with an ice pack between my legs. I went to my OB-GYN,
who suspected herpes. I received a call a few days later
saying the test came back negative and rejoiced! However,
when I returned back from spring break, I received a call
from my doctor. He wanted me to come back in. At the
appointment, he told me he didn’t believe the test was truly
negative, so he had it run again. It came out positive and I
was devastated. I remember just walking out to my car and
bawling my eyes out.

I no longer saw myself as attractive. I thought no one would
ever want to be with me again. How was I ever going to tell
my future partners? After the diagnosis, I became extremely
depressed. About a month later, before I was set to graduate,
I attempted suicide. The worst night of my life. After much
therapy, I overcame the negative stigma of STIs. I am in a
much better place now.”

—25/Female/Straight/Genital Herpes

30. “Growing up, I was never taught
about safe sex, STIs, etc. so I was honestly
terrified.”

“I was shocked when I got the call from my doctor saying I
had tested positive for chlamydia. Growing up, I was never
taught about safe sex, STIs, etc. so I was honestly
terrified. Thankfully, both my husband and my boyfriend were
incredibly supportive. My husband and I went in to the clinic
immediately the next morning to get counseling, medication,
and more tests. Everyone was professional and informative,
which I was thankful for. We ended up only needing one quick
dose of medication (it tasted disgusting).”

—26/Female/Bisexual/Polyamorous/Chlamydia

31. “I had noticed a small bump on my
husband’s penis, but when I asked about it he said he hadn’t
noticed it before.”

“I was pregnant with my second child and during a routine
appointment I talked to my doctor about some bumps I felt
hadn’t been there before. She did a swab and said that I
tested positive for HPV and chlamydia. I had noticed a small
bump on my husband’s penis, but when I asked about it he said
he hadn’t noticed it before and didn’t know how long it’d
been there. I thought maybe it was a birthmark or something.
I’m sure that I contracted both STIs from him and that he was
unaware that he had them.”

—25/Female/Heterosexual/Chlamydia and HPV

32. “In retrospect, I am so thankful
that all I had to do was pick up a prescription my doctor
called in to my pharmacy and take a couple of pills.”

“When my doctor called to tell me I tested positive for
chlamydia, I cried a lot. The guy who had given it to me had
insisted he was tested a month prior to us having sex, and
was clear, so I felt comfortable having unprotected sex. I
felt so betrayed and dirty and told only told a handful of
friends.

But in retrospect, I am so thankful that all I had to do was
pick up a prescription my doctor called into my pharmacy and
take a couple of pills. Although I feel lucky I was able to
cure the STI, I am super anxious now about contracting
anything. I start obsessively checking my vagina in a
handheld mirror and take note of every itch, discharge, etc.”

—28/Female/Straight/Chlamydia

Amanda Berglund for BuzzFeed News

33. “When I told him, he called me a
slut and said I must have given it to him.”

“I was 17, still in high school, and it was awful. The doctor
called home and told my mom first, who then relayed the
information to me. I was horrified and immediately started
crying. I had only been with two people, the first was a
long-time boyfriend who I recently broke up with and the
second was a rebound who I barely knew. I knew it was from
the guy I barely knew. When I told him, he called me a slut
and said I must have given it to him. It was traumatizing.
Luckily my mom was really supportive and we went back to the
doctor and all I had to do was take some medication and it
was cleared up right away.”

—25/Female/Heterosexual/Chlamydia

34. “I think that the hardest part of
having herpes is getting past the social stigma.”

“When I found out what my diagnosis was, I felt ashamed and
gross. The guy who I had been seeing at the time ended things
with me because of it. I thought that no one would ever want
to be with me again, and I felt completely alone in the
experience. I already suffer from anxiety, so I was having a
lot of panic attacks and found it hard to leave my apartment.
I was afraid to tell the men I had been with because I was
nervous about what they would say. However, they all took it
well.

That is when I started opening up to my friends about having
herpes and was also was able to tell my sister who has been
the most supportive person. I’ve learned that it’s not a big
deal and with medication you can control the symptoms. I
don’t let anyone belittle me for it anymore. I think that the
hardest part of having herpes is getting past the social
stigma.”

—22/Female/Straight/Genital Herpes

35. “Sadly, I went back to her office
twice before realizing I shouldn’t be paying for a health
care professional to make me feel stigmatized.”

“At the appointment, the doctor walked in the door, greeted
me, looked me in the eye and said, ‘we all make stupid
choices sometimes, don’t we?’ She then proceeded to tell me
that after she ~checked me for any nasties~ we could talk.
Sadly, I went back to her office twice before realizing I
shouldn’t be paying for a health care professional to make me
feel stigmatized and like a piece of shit. I found a new
doctor and could not be more grateful for her kindness and
understanding.”

—22/Female/Straight/Chlamydia and HPV

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or
clarity.

Lixia Guo / BuzzFeed News



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