vp_sock (vp_sock) wrote in vaginapagina,

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Anxiety and avoiding STI testing

So, this is a weird one. Sorry for the sock puppet account, but this is a very difficult post for me to write.

I am interested in women's health, reproductive health and feminism. I strongly believe in the importance of STI testing, and have encouraged my friends to get tested in the past.

Despite this - I myself am terrified of STIs, to the point where... ok (deep breath)

I haven't been tested myself for eight years, since I was 15, I lost my virginity.

I've really never thought about how to label this experience, but it was with a slightly older guy, a relative stranger, in a public place, and I was very drunk at the time. Afterwards I went to get EC myself and I think I was going to get tested myself too, but then my mum found the EC and read my diary. She freaked out, made me go for testing, and basically grounded me until I left home. I can't say I blame her in the circumstances, but yeah there it is.

Since then, I have slept with seven parnters, two of them unprotected - one was a one-night thing about 18 months ago, and the other is my current, long term (more than a year) boyfriend. I'm on the pill. Even though we started having condomless sex without discussing STIs, since then I've learned that he's been tested, and I've lied to him that I have. Also I've lied to doctors to avoid testing - they've asked me whether I want or need a test and I've said no, that I've been tested at my college doctor (if at home) or my home doctor (if at college).

I've been dealing with health anxiety and other mental health issues for a long time, and I'm having counselling and I think I'm finally starting to get better, which is great. As such, I've booked an appointment this morning to actually get a test done. This time I really am going to.

What I'm terrified of, though, is that I'll come back positive for something and then have to tell my boyfriend that I lied to him. I know this will look like I cheated on him. I genuinely haven't, and that's all I can say: I love him with all my heart, and our relationship is monogamous so that's how I act.

I know I've been putting him at risk by having condomless sex with him for a year without a guaranteed bill of health, and that makes me feel terrible. I've dug myself into a hole, I know, but now I really want to climb out. I know I have been grossly irresponsible but I want to stop it immediately. I guess I just want to get this story out and straight somewhere. How can I have this conversation with my boyfriend if the worst happens, and does anyone have any tips in general for dealing with this and changing my behaviour?
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