Sexually Transmitted Diseases Testing: A conversation Between a Gay Couple
Sexually transmitted diseases are very rampart nowadays among the sexually active people. Even with vigorous campaigns by health organizations to mobilize people to go for testing people are often shy and not ready to share their sexual health concerns with others, more so with their partners. Same-sex relationships are more prone to these issues of STDs since they rarely use protection methods such as condoms and most of them may not open up their sexual history. Joe who is twenty-one years has started a relationship with Tom who is twenty-nine years, and they are ready for intimate relationships. Tom has been pestering Joe to have sex with him, but Joe has been reluctant, after attending a seminar early in the year where he learned about sexually transmitted diseases among the gay couples. Though he feels naturally attracted to tom, he feels they should get tested for STDs before getting into a sexual relationship amid his continuous pestering. Below is a conversation between the two on the STDs testing?
Joe: Hey dude, so long, how did the game go last evening?
Tom: Am doing well J, missing you a lot, have been thinking of you since morning. Anyway, the game was fine, though Ozil lost a penalty… and we were like… It was such great loss. I don’t know why the coach still insists on having him in the team … (shakes his heads and looks down).
Joe: I guess you guys have a repeat next week; you need to capitalize on that chance, and silence those guys forever. Anyway, how is the going?
Tom: Just feeling my heart throbbing for you. Have been dreaming about you all the time, I just think am madly in love with you (smiling and they both kiss).
Joe: (Still smiling). Hmm… me too, Tom, I love you so much, really so much.
Tom: Hahaha … Really? So much? You must be kidding me J. You have withheld that moment to me for so long, J? Do you really mean … you love me?
Joe: … hmm… (A short silence). I really mean it, Tom … but just been fearing.
Tom: You mean you fear me, J?
Joe: Not really that. I don’t know how you take it, but me, I treasure our relationship so much. I don’t want to lose you or see you suffer.
Tom: What do you mean J? Suffer?
Joe: Not that Tom. Suffer is not the word, but, to make the long story short. I attended a seminar organized an LGBT Organization in March, and it was an eye-opener.
Tom: Okay. What was their topic?
Joe: Well … there was variety, but STDs was the major one?
Tom: You think, you got gonorrhea, or do I act like someone affected by the syphilis madness?
Joe: Do not say like that, Tom. Telling these things doesn’t mean that I suspect you are sick. I just care and love you a lot. I value our relationship with you, and I just believe we are going far. Now listen.
Tom: Go on J. On your lips.
Joe: The guys there gave us statistics that shocked me. They showed us how same-sex relationships are affected by the STDs and in fact, they pointed that HIV/AIDS was first discovered among gay men. Something, I have never heard of. I know you also don’t know Tom?
Tom: Go on babe, listening… (Now looking in somber mood).
Joe: In the seminar, they taught us several things about STDs, their symptoms, methods of testing and how they are tested and treated. I found it important to share with you, and I have been feeling I need to talk to you about it with you. For sure, Tom my heart loves you a lot, and I feel… … we should look at the future. I don’t mean I suspect you are sick, or that am sick but I think, it’s good for our lives.
Tom: Sure, it’s a good thing. Had heard about the issue once but never got concerned. So did they tell you there are home-based methods to test the STDs … or we have to go to a hospital? I can’t imagine that?
Joe: Thanks a lot for understanding me, Tom. They did say, there are several ways you can test at home using At-Home testing kits or looking at the symptoms, but the advice was to go for testing in a health facility. That is the only way you can be sure. You know these diseases are many and complex. In the seminar, we were given like ten (turns to a notebook). Personally, I only knew three; HIV/AIDS which I thought was for third world countries, gonorrhea, and Syphilis. I came to know about Genital Herpes, Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus, trichomoniasis, genital warts, and chlamydia (CDC, 2016).
Tom: You mean all those can affect those in same-sex relationships like us?
Joe: That’s what they said. We are vulnerable. But most of them have closely related methods of testing (Turns pages of his notebook). Like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, swab test in the genital area or urine can be used to do the testing. Blood samples can be used for HIV, syphilis and genital herpes screening (Yarber, Sayad & Strong, 2013). Physical examination is also done for others like genital warts and trichomoniasis. And other elaborate methods that need professional knowledge.
Tom: (Breezes heavily)… it sounds like it’s a lot of work to do?
Joe: Yeah … but the good thing is that they recommended at least once per year. We can always dedicate some time for that.
Tom: Yeah. I agree. Health is paramount. We can do it twice or thrice. Personally, I’ve never had any test, and I have been active for five years. I think it’s fair enough we do it tomorrow, dear. What do you think?
Joe: Sure, tomorrow. Thanks a lot, Tom. I really love. You are so much understanding. Let’s do it tomorrow; I would really love to.
Tom: Thanks for being open, J. I got to go before the match starts. Let’s meet tomorrow at our usual spot and discuss way forward. Thanks a lot.
(They leave after goodbye kiss)