Getting tests done

I went to check out my sore throat today. The nurse looked at my throat and said it didn’t look like I had strep. I didn’t think I did, but my girlfriend had it last week and Karkki swears I gave her strep three times last fall. I don’t believe in visiting the doctor all the time.

I asked the nurse about STD tests. I’ve never been tested. I’ve had unprotected sex with multiple partners. This is stupid, I know. The only thing I’ve cared has been not getting anyone pregnant.

“Do have any reason to be tested? Do you have any symptoms?” the nurse asked.

“Well, I’ve never been tested,” I said.

“Have you had unprotected sex? With partners you don’t know?”

“Yes.”

“Recently?”

“Uh, yeah. Last fall.”

“So a good six months ago. Have you experienced any changes... down there?”

“No.”

She then ran down a list of STDs (syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, condyloma and HIV), describing their symptoms as applicable. What I found amusing was how dismissive she was of some of the diseases. “These are rare in Finland,” of syphilis and gonorrhea, and “HIV is rare in instances of heterosexual activity, and is a problem mainly with drug users.” Was she trying to talk me out of getting tested?

In the end I ended up getting a throat swap and giving blood and urine samples. I was at the clinic just over a half an hour, a strangely painless experience. I call in for the results next week.

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