More Stories

STDs & HIV





STD Testing: A Male Perspective
Author: José Leal





The fourth period bell rang, and all that was going 
through my mind was taking the test. I needed someone 
there for me, so I tricked my friend into coming 
along. As we walked towards my truck, I wondered what 
the experience would be like. What was the doctor 
going to do to me? I wanted to chicken out and go 
somewhere else. But it was something I had to do — 
because I said I would.

As I passed the last lights that led me to the clinic, 
I was shaking more than ever. When I arrived at the 
clinic’s parking lot, I didn’t want to get out of my 
car — but we were already there. So I took a deep 
breath, and entered the building. 

When I approached the front counter, I told the 
secretary, “I would like to make an appointment for an 
STD test.” She asked me if I had been there before. I 
hadn’t. She gave me forms to fill out that asked me 
about my sex partners and if I had any physical or 
mental problems. After I filled out all the forms, she 
opened her appointment binder and told me to come back 
next week. 

I asked her if I could have the appointment sooner. As 
she reviewed the appointment schedule, a doctor came 
in and told her someone had cancelled and I could be 
seen right away. Right now? ! 

 I watched TV as I waited for the doctor’s call. The 
weather was on. It said Watsonville’s temperature was 
90 degrees. Very, very hot, like the rising 
temperature inside my body. 

When the nurse called my name I was excited, but also 
scared. 

My first test would be the hardest. Man, have you ever 
had to pee in a cup? It’s hard when you absolutely 
cannot pee under pressure. After three failed 
attempts, despite drinking lots of water, I still 
could not pee. I was just too nervous. 

Having failed the first test, I entered the 
examination room. Though the nurse had told me to take 
off all my clothes, the doctor told me that it wasn’t 
necessary. For this part of the exam, I would only 
have to pull my clothes down to where she could see my 
testicles. I was a little scared, but it wasn’t that 
bad. The doctor informed me of the process and the 
steps to prevent STDs. The exam was over in a matter 
of minutes. 

When the examination was over, the doctor went to get 
information about STDs. She came back with some 
handouts and a big bag. I wondered what was inside the 
bag. To my surprise there were 48 condoms! Forty-eight 
giggles came out from both of us, along with a 
question from my mouth. Why would a person need all 
those condoms?  She told me I could return to the 
clinic to get 48 more tomorrow, if I wanted to.

I felt so relieved when I left the building that 
finally I had a strong urge to go to the bathroom. I 
wanted all the liquid inside my body to run down like 
water in a river. My embarrassment was so strong that 
instead of returning to the clinic, I left for school.