DIY STI tests

(4 Posts)
Worrisomewart Wed 31-Jul-19 12:42:27

I suffer from really bad health anxiety. My latest thing is worrying about STIs. I've always been fairly careful but about two years ago I had a fling with someone and didn't always use protection. Stupid I know. Since then I've had no worrying symptoms but just lately I've been panicking about whether or not I might have something - especially something terrible/incurable.

I am far far too anxious to go to a gum clinic so I've ordered one of those test at home kits for everything including blood tests. Now that I've done it I'm panicking even more!

Can anyone offer any reassurance? I know HIV is very very rare but this is what is really scaring me. I guess I'll know for sure in a few days but in the meantime I'm freaking out!

OP’s posts: |
HIVpos Wed 31-Jul-19 16:22:09

Hi OP, sorry you have health anxiety. I’m guessing by the terrible/incurable STI you’re referring to you mean HIV

As someone who is living with HIV perhaps a few facts about it might help?

1)It is no longer the death sentence it used to be. While still not (yet) curable, it is regarded as a chronic manageable condition.
2)Due to the medication we take – 1 pill a day for me (I have friends who take a lot more for other ailments which can be trickier to treat) we can expect to live long and fulfilling lives – have babies etc. I’m actually probably healthier than most of my friends.
3)Due to my medication I can’t pass it on to any (prospective) partner I might have – even without a condom. Weirdly, I’d be more likely to catch something from them than they, me.
4)Yes, it is difficult to contract HIV, and there are other STIs that are way easier to contract. However it does exist as a risk to everyone who has unprotected sex with anyone who does not know their status and has had previous partners.
5)The best thing anyone can do is take control of their sexual health and get themself tested. This way they can continue to live a healthy life.
6)I don’t regard it as terrible. The worst thing about HIV is the stigma – internal or perceived from others. hmm

HTH OP – but this is about you…so, 2 years ago you had sex that might have put you at risk of STIs. You have now ordered a home test – well done to you for that. My GUM clinic offers free home tests with the suggestion to make an appointment if there are symptoms or difficulties with doing a home test. The only home test I ever took was for hormones (menopause related). I’d suggest having a friend round if that might help, read through the instructions very carefully and take your time. Then arrange something nice to do immediately after – even just get out of the house to take your mind off it.

Try not to panic – you are taking responsibility for your health. Whatever the result, I am betting the reassurance from doing the tests will be massive. Btw, if you haven’t had any other unprotected sex etc since, these results will be absolutely conclusive!

Happy to answer any other questions, either on here or via PM if you want.

Worrisomewart Wed 31-Jul-19 16:44:30

Thank you @HIVpos and I'm really sorry for my clumsy use of words with regards to HIV. I hope I didn't offend.

I have done a lot of research on the topic and can see that only a very tiny percentage of the population have it and that it's apparently concentrated into certain demographic groups. Although it can affect anyone.

The person I had the short relationship with two years ago had had a lot of partners before me. I did have a swab test after we split. That came back clear and I never bothered with any blood tests as I thought the chance was so tiny but it has played on my mind over the last year or so. I do have another partner now and I'm terrified that if anything was amiss I'd have to tell him. I'm quite confident that the swab tests will be ok it's the other stuff.

OP’s posts: |
HIVpos Wed 31-Jul-19 20:24:08

@Worrisomewart you didn't offend in the slightest smile

I have done a lot of research on the topic and can see that only a very tiny percentage of the population have it and that it's apparently concentrated into certain demographic groups. Although it can affect anyone.

Absolutely right - in the UK there's just over 100k of us living with HIV out of over 60 million people, and the vast majority unable to pass it on due to being virally suppressed on meds. We are hoping to be able to wipe it out totally by 2030 with help from the government. However there's still about 8,ooo people living unknowingly with it, which is why getting tested - and for all STIs - is so important. FWIW I don't fit the demographic!

Congratulations on the new partner - just a point...if you are planning on having unprotected sex, or have already perhaps he should do the responsible thing and get tested too?

Hope you get the reassurance you're looking for smile

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