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Personal story: Leo

It’s always best to protect yourself from STIs

Portrait of an african american young adult man at home.
Photo credit: ©iStock/filadendron. Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.

"I’m an odd case and I’ve learned to be okay with it. I grew up in the church and I followed the rules almost to a T. No drugs, no sex, no nothing.

By the age of 25 I had fooled around with some girls and had a girlfriend of two years that I never had intercourse with. I was dedicated to college and the church, but that didn’t necessarily translate into success in bed.

After building up confidence and learning how to date outside the church it became easier and easier. I hooked up with a girl a couple months ago and finally lost my actual virginity at the age of 27, and while the sex wasn’t great we made the right choice and used a condom both times.

My second partner was someone I’d already known for months, worked in healthcare, and seemed to be very clued up on her medical stuff. We got caught up in the heat of the moment, I had run out of condoms because I was too embarrassed to buy more at my neighbourhood store, and before we knew it we were having a lot of unprotected sex.

The funny thing was that she asked me if I’d been tested for STIs, not knowing I wasn’t very sexually active. Things didn’t work out between us and within a week I started to notice something wrong and got tested.

Even if you trust the person you’re having sex with, even if it’s someone that works in healthcare, and even if you think the odds are in your favour, it’s always best to protect yourself from STIs. Always use a condom – there are various ways to prevent kids but not all of them prevent STIs.

STIs can hurt a lot, and waiting for the results to come back are going to be some of the longest days of your life. Anyone can get or have an STI. You may hear all kinds of stories of people winging it, but this is some fire you don’t want to play with."

What we say

Although Leo was careful to begin with, like lots of us he got carried away in the heat of the moment – it happens! Making sure you keep stocked up on condoms and lube can mean you’re less likely to get caught out, and making regular STI check-ups part of your routine can help keep your mind at ease and help you get treatment if needed.

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These personal stories have been submitted to us anonymously by individuals who use our site. Some of the stories have been edited for clarity purposes and names have been changed to protect identities.

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  • Last updated: 14 November 2022
  • Last full review: 01 March 2022
  • Next full review: 01 March 2025
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