By Andres Torres
As a student of Cal Poly Pomona, I have taken advantage of the resources the Wellness Center has to offer. On one occasion, I had the opportunity to speak with various students awaiting their appointments. With students naturally making conversation, I was eventually asked why I was there. After telling them I was checking for sexually transmitted diseases, I was quickly met with apologies and embarrassed faces. People were actually embarrassed for me about the idea that I was there to know my health status.
As sexually active college students, we owe it to ourselves to get tested without the fear of being shamed for doing so. No one should determine our actions and choices when it comes to our health and safety.
There is no shame in knowing that you are being safe, whether you have had one partner or multiple partners. It is about loving you, your health and taking the right precautions to prevent yourself from catching anything.
It is extremely ignorant and misguided to make anyone feel that checking his or her status is a frightening thing to do. Why is it that if someone simply wants to make sure everything is OK, he or she has to take that risk? Whether someone is practicing safe sex or not, it is always good to have reassurance and to not have to worry about any infections.
Having a shameful attitude towards others wanting to test themselves dissuades them from the desire to take control of their bodies. Someone should not wait until symptoms appear to inquire about his or her health, as these symptoms tend to appear when the disease is at its peak.
It is easy to think we are invincible. We are young, energetic and, at this age, there is not much to worry about. But this way of thinking endangers our bodies and health. By getting ahead of any diseases, we are bettering our chances of remaining healthy.
Knowledge is power; therefore, people should seize these chances since knowing their status should empower them rather than strike fear in their sex lives. Anyone feeling ashamed should not let anyone debase him or her for knowing what is happening inside his or her body. `
Since the early 1980s when the AIDS epidemic started, it was taboo to even have any STDs, let alone speak about them. But we have entered a time where STDs are a real threat, and no good comes from withholding your health status from a partner.
All STDs may be transmitted through vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex and sometimes even through kissing. We must accept the fact that it is a dangerous world out there when it comes to sex and diseases. Therefore, we must take the appropriate precautions when taking such risks.
It is up to us to know our status and take responsibility of our bodies since we run the risk of infecting ourselves when we have unprotected sex. We should pride ourselves in taking responsibility for our health. You should never be afraid or embarrassed of your decision to get tested.
While it is completely irrational to tell people to stop, it is OK to have casual sex and have multiple partners. When living a non-monogamous lifestyle, one should also take advantage of the services our school has to offer: free HIV screenings on Tuesdays and various STD tests. Though they may not be free, STD tests are completely worth the price. At the end of the day, you cannot put a price tag on your health.
Sungah Choi, Monica Lopez / The Poly Post
Show Comments (0)