I was outside of a hippie grocery store that I frequented in college when I got a text message: “You gave me an STD”. I literally thought my heart stopped for a second as I pulled away from my group of friends to stare at my cellphone. It was like time froze and then was let go with a million thoughts, fears and questions in my mind. My ex-boyfriend and I hadn’t talked in awhile after a particularly rocky breakup. I didn’t answer him and I didn’t say anything because I started to feel scared in my own body. What does that mean? How did I just give him something? Is it true? Out of anger I shot him a text message being like “What the hell are you talking about and how dare you say that to me”. I needed to go home. As soon as I got back to my apartment that I shared with two close girlfriends I erupted into tears. I told my roommate who assured me it wasn’t true. That he was crazy. I went outside and stood under a tree and called him up.
“Hello?” “What do you mean by-“ “I tested positive” “For what?” “It doesn’t matter” “Of course, it matters. I need to get tested, I need to-“ “It’s not life threatening…but it’s not curable” he said. He still had this sharpness in his voice.
After a long roundabout conversation he told me he has herpes. And he was pretty sure it was from me because the girl he is currently sleeping with doesn’t have it. The next day I went to Planned Parenthood. After anxiety provoking hour of waiting, filling out forms and doing tests, a kind and gentle doctor listened to my story. She told me “this guy sounds like an asshole. Don’t talk to him” She asked me if I had any signs of herpes and I said no. With that she said she couldn’t do any testing on me since there was nothing to test but if I ever saw something I should come back. A year went by and my ex finally mentioned to me that his ex-girlfriend did have herpes. Whatever way it happened didn’t matter, it was more of this idea of being spoken to the way he did…in a careless and accusing tone. It made me feel like something was wrong with me. Thank god for Planned Parenthood.