Last Updated on June 4, 2020 by Valinda Riggins Nwadike, MD, MPH
On first read, it might seem improbable someone could contract more than one STD at a time, but the reality is it’s quite common.
Remember, once someone has contracted one infection, they are at a higher risk of contracting additional infections. Couple that with the inability to test for all STDs and how often they remain asymptomatic, and it’s no wonder men and women alike are contracting two, three, and sometimes more infections simultaneously or within a short period of time.
As an anonymous interview submitted via the contact form, this interviewee’s story is not that different from my own or countless others we receive daily, but that doesn’t make it any easier to share. It’s hard enough talking about contracting one STD let alone being willing to disclose you’ve had a number of them throughout your sex life.
Thank you, interviewee, for your bravery, as your story will most certainly help others.
1. How old are you?
I’m 19, turning 20 in March.
2. What do you do for a living?
I’m a sophomore in college.
3. What STI/STD do you have/have you had?
I started having sex at 14. My first sexual partner gave me a combination of trichomoniasis and chlamydia and also something called cervicitis.
I was devastated!
Since, I’ve had countless bacterial/yeast infections (vaginitis), scabies once, and as of November 2012, herpes type 2.
4. How long have you had or known you have an STI/STD?
Almost 11 months. It will be a year in November.
5. Do you know how you contracted this STI/STD?
From an ex-boyfriend. He and I were fooling around one day, and I let him perform oral on me but didn’t let him penetrate… The next day, I got super sick and had the worst menstrual cycle I’ve ever had. Next thing I knew, I got this open wound/cut on my vagina, close to where I usually shave. I thought I cut myself with a razor but wasn’t sure.
6. How has your life changed since you contracted an STI/STD?
My sex life and how I feel about myself have changed. I’ve been jumping in and out of depression since I learned I had this disease… I’ve felt like my life is over. I thought I wasn’t desirable anymore, and I was more ANGRY than anything.
I was really depressed.
Then, I realized that inner beauty and self love is far more valuable than what I can do sexually.
7. Do the people who know you have an STI/STD treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?
I’ve told about 6 people. More than anything, they just want me as healthy as possible, but we all don’t talk about it much. They commended me for my strength and have been showing nothing but an outpouring of love and support toward me.
8. Are you currently under treatment for your STI/STD? If so, please share whether you have explored prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or holistic and natural approaches.
After the initial outbreak, I didn’t get anymore vaginal outbreaks. I’ve gotten about 3 outbreaks on my legs, oddly. I’ve gotten them treated, but if they’re not too severe (which they usually aren’t), I just let things heal on their own.
I don’t like pills, so I prefer healing naturally…
Now, I have better eating habits, and I work REALLY hard to keep my stress levels down.
9. Has having an STI/STD hindered past relationships?
Well, I got the STD from an ex who I wasn’t even with when we were having sex.
My current boyfriend has been nothing but supportive of me during this whole process, even though he was at risk himself… However, I often worry about what will happen if we break up.
10. Do you have a significant other? If so, how has this STI/STD affected your partner?
When I had my initial outbreak, we had sex. Afterwards, I went to the doctor and learned of my condition.
He ended up almost catching it, but his culture results came back negative. Whenever we have sex, we are very careful and mindful of what we do, and he gets tested often just to make sure.
11. Have you been sexually active with someone since contracting an STI/STD whom you did not tell you had an STI/STD?
I took a guy’s virginity without knowing. I honestly forgot I had it, because I don’t get outbreaks often, and I don’t have visible vaginal outbreaks. I ended up telling him I had it months later, but I fabricated a story along with it. I told him I got raped, and someone gave it to me. The rape part was actually true, but I know that wasn’t the person who gave me the STD…
I feel terrible about it to this day, and I am SO thankful that the guy didn’t end up contracting herpes. To know I put him at risk like that makes me feel terrible.
12. How have you changed as a result of contracting an STI/STD?
I’m definitely more appreciative of life, and I make wiser choices. I’ve become more mindful of my sexual activities, and I’m more spiritual…
Dealing with herpes seriously matures a person.
13. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Reading others stories on this site inspired me, and I wanted to share mine. You never know how your story can help someone or save them, and I really want to break the silence and the stigma.
Can you relate to this interviewee? Did it help you to read someone else’s story? Have you experienced something similar or do you have some feedback to share with this individual? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
- Would you like to share your STD story?
- STD? What Now? Your Ultimate Reference Guide
- Would you like to read other STI Interviews?
- HSV2 – Info & Personal Stories
- Herpes – Resources & Personal Perspectives
- Information about Chlamydia
- Information about Scabies
- Information about Trichomoniasis
- Information about Vaginitis
- STDs – Educational Info, Perspectives & More