Illustration by: Ashley Fairbourne
“I have chlamydia.”
As I heard the words on the other end of the phone line my mind wandered and I realized I hadn’t said anything for a few seconds.
“Yeah, I’m here. Yeah, I’m just taking this in. Who did you get this from? Why are you even telling me? How are you, by the way? I meant to call it’s just, you know, school is taking over my life.”
“I’m pretty sure I got it from you.”
These are some of the most horrifying words you can say to a person. This guy and I had been in a short, forgettable relationship that had last a couple weekends and never amounted to anything. As I realized what he was accusing me of I knew it couldn’t have been from me. Safety first is my motto and we had definitely played it safe together.
Still, I decided to entertain him. He was super upset because he’d taken a test and was experiencing some burning when he peed. He kept pointing the finger at me though, and I kept trying to combat him.
“I’ve never been with anyone else,” he kept saying. Then he started using it as an excuse for us to get back together. Sometimes I don’t understand people.
I ended up going to Planned Parenthood to get tested anyway. I doubted that he had been with only me and there was a small chance he could have given me something. While waiting in the room outside the office I started thinking about the importance of safe sex.
So many young people in Utah these days aren’t educated on the risks they run from unprotected sex because the public education is so minimal. Rarely do they hear the details from their parents because no teenager is willing to ask their parents all the questions to answers they need to know.
For a short crash course on safe sex practices as told from a Planned Parenthood waiting room, keep reading. When you walk into Planned Parenthood there are posters all over the place. One of them reads that 1 in 2 sexually active young people will get an STD by the time they are twenty-five and most will not know it.
This is especially alarming because of the fact that you may not know you’ve been infected. If you are sexually active at all, it is important to get yourself tested. Planned Parenthood offers many affordable options for people who can’t afford health insurance or are trying to keep their sex life on the down low.
Other posters in the building show the different kinds of contraception available and a percentage of the success rate they have of warding off pregnancy and diseases. Condoms, vaginal rings, spermicides and birth control are all on there. If you are wondering, the only 100-percent-sure- fire way to not get pregnant or contract STD’s would be to abstain from sex.
If you are sexually active have the brains to use some sort of protection.
Outside of the obvious risk of pregnancy you are putting yourself at risk for other things like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HPV, HIV and AIDS. Trust me, no one wants any of those.
The tests are simple. You can get a blood test but I opted for a urine sample and it came back negative. At the end of the day I think I lost fifteen dollars but gained much needed peace of mind.
If you have any other questions about safe sex you can Email me at [email protected] to have it answered in the UVU Review or talk to someone at Planned Parenthood. The staff is really helpful and we all want you to be as safe and informed as possible.