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Sex…The Hot Topic!

STD Clinic Visit: A Female Perspective
Author: Fabiola Cardenas

Despite the fact that I was doing this as reporter, I 
couldn’t ignore that I was about to go into a room and 
go through an experience which most teenagers would 
consider one of their worst. 
I entered the back door of Salud Para La Gente 
and, “lucky me,” there was nobody there except the 
receptionist who was waiting for me, as if she knew 
I’d be coming. I couldn’t figure out the words to tell 
her what I was there for, but when I finally did, she 
told me that an STD exam is not a walk-in exam. She 
gave me an extension number to call if I wanted to 
make an appointment.
Nothing else was required to make the appointment but 
my name, age, and whether it was an emergency or just 
a regular check up. I was done with the first step six 
days later, I had my appointment at Salud Para La 
Gente at 8 a.m. to get an STD exam. 
Finally, the day had come. I rode the school bus as if 
it was any other day, except that I did not go 
straight to school, but across the street to Salud 
Para La Gente. This time I entered the front door of 
the clinic and to my surprise, the waiting room was 
full. As I walked inside, the door closed behind me 
and I felt a cold rush of wind on my back. When the 
breeze was gone, I started feeling like I was on a 100-
degree Fahrenheit deserted island. I walked through 
the waiting room to the receptionist’s desk.
The receptionist asked me if I had an appointment. 
Once I registered, she asked for my medical history, 
which would stay confidential. She then gave me a 
patient card for any future visits and asked me to 
take a seat and wait. 
I sat in the hot, noisy, waiting room filled with kids 
who were running around, jumping up and down and going 
in and out of bathrooms. They didn’t bother me because 
all I could think about was what the doctor was going 
to do to me. 
“Angela Fabiola Cardenas,” the nurse announced. It 
seemed like she shouted my name through a megaphone. I 
grabbed my backpack and walked toward the male nurse 
waiting for me. He introduced himself as we walked to 
a peaceful, quieter room. Here, he took my blood 
pressure and weighed me. Despite the fact that I had 
gained about eight pounds, everything else looked fine.
He asked me a few questions such as why I was there, 
how I was feeling physically and if I noticed any 
problems. After he finished asking me these basic 
questions, he gave me pamphlets about STDs. He then 
transferred me to a spacious room where I waited for 
the physician who would examine me.
I was looking around the room, which was full of 
health posters, when the doctor walked in and 
introduced herself. We had more than a questioning 
session, it was more like a very personal 
conversation. She spoke to me about the risks of 
having premature sex and the different ways to reduce 
the risk of STDs and pregnancy.
Since in my case the risk of having an STD was very 
low, I didn’t have to strip down to have an internal 
exam. Although I have heard that they are not painful, 
I have been told that they can be uncomfortable. All 
that was left to do was pee in a cup. I kind of got 
off the hook. (Tip: Drink a lot of water before you go 
to the clinic, and if possible, bring your own water).
Everything was over. They gave me a doctor’s note to 
excuse my absence from school, and told me to come 
back in a few days for my lab results. On my way out, 
I realized how nervous I was when I first got there. I 
was so nervous that I thought I had seen a sign at the 
door that read “No Spanking.” Actually, it read “No 
When I stepped out of the clinic, I felt so relieved 
to once again feel the cool breeze.