When it comes to sexual health, it’s important to get tested regularly. Getting a negative result is always a relief, but it’s important to remember that STIs aren’t the end of the world. In fact, thinking of them as such can be harmful to those who have them. Here are some tips for being excited about your negative STI test, but not so excited that you further the stigma:
Act Chill on the Phone With the Doctor
When the doctor calls with the negative result, it may be tempting to say, “Yay!” or otherwise express happiness. Try to avoid this. After all, your doctor could have gonorrhea for all you know. It’s not just irresponsible people who get it. And even if she doesn’t have it, you don’t want to unintentionally encourage her to shame those who do. Then she’ll belittle a patient who gets a positive result, and a stranger’s medical trauma will be all your fault. So when the doctor says it’s negative, just say something neutral like, “Well, that sounds quite alright.”
Don’t Tell Your Friends Why You’re Happy
When your friends say you seem to be in a good mood, just lie and say you got a promotion at work. Nobody pays enough attention to your job for that to catch up to you anyway. If you avoid the topic of STIs altogether, you won’t hurt the feelings of your friends who may have had STIs themselves at some point. And if a friend ever gets one in the future, they’ll feel comfortable telling you. At that point, you can give a cheerful response about how it was meant to happen because you created such a safe space for having STIs all that time ago.
Don’t Go on a Date This Weekend
When you find out you don’t have any STIs, you may want to put yourself out there, free of the constraints of uncertainty. But in reality, this result should make little to no difference to you. People with STIs can live normal lives. You could have gone on a date even if you had chlamydia! But since you spend every weekend at home watching Netflix, you should do that now as well, so you don’t perpetuate harmful ideas.
It’s important to remember that while you may not have an STI, you’re not above people who do. After all, you’re struggling in many other facets of life, and they’re all having wild sex.