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Dear V

Dear V,

I think I that I might have an STD of some kind. I will spare you the details of what it looks like, but it’s bad. I am pretty sure that I know whom I contracted it from. Should I tell him? I’m kind of embarrassed about saying something because if he doesn’t have it, then obviously I didn’t get it from him. Also, it’s a pretty awkward topic of conversation, and I don’t quite know how to bring it up.

Diseased

Dear Reader,

I think that your first plan of action should be to make sure that you actually do indeed have some kind of sexually transmitted infection. It will likely be a very stressful and nerve-wracking situation for you to get tested, but it is imperative that you confirm what you already suspect; anyone who is having 100 percent protected and safe sex should get tested once a year, and any polygamous person who is a regular practitioner of the unsafe kind should probably get tested every three to six months. It goes without saying that any time something goes awry with a partner, it might be a good idea to go ahead and get tested for peace of mind, and of course if you are showing symptoms of something unusual “down there,” by all means, deliver thyself to the health center with haste!

According to one statistic, half of all sexually adults will have contracted a sexually transmitted infection by the age of 25. Yum. Likewise, many people who carry one of these infections don’t even know it because they don’t show any symptoms. For instance in the case of chlamydia-one of the most common STI’s-approximately 75 percent percent of women and 50 percent percent of men who carry chlamydia do not show any symptoms of the disease. Left untreated, chlamydia can destroy a woman’s fertility; obviously, getting oneself tested annually is a must.

Once you have established that you actually are infected, it is, in my opinion, your duty to not only tell this guy who gave you the STI that he infected you, but also to inform any other partners who you may have possibly infected yourself. Will it be fun to do this? No, of course not. Will you derive some great sense of satisfaction knowing that you are a responsible person? Probably not, but should you take responsibility for your actions? Of course. It’s obviously not going to be easy to confront someone with this kind of news, but you’ve got to do it. I would suggest doing it in person and in private. Furthermore, remind him and anyone else that this is an intensely personal matter meant to be kept between two people. I’m not saying that requesting privacy will guarantee that your business won’t be spread along the grape vine, but it’s better to ask than to not say anything at all.

Best of luck!

V.

Fact o’ the Day.According to a study conducted at the University of Liverpool, women whose ring fingers are shorter than their index fingers tend to have high fertility levels. Likewise, men with long fingers tend to have higher fertility levels than men with short fingers.

Please send probing inquiries to DearV@hotmail.com or drop V a line in her box in the office of The Hurricane. All questions and comments will remain anonymous.

V. is a senior majoring in psychology and creative writing.

April 11, 2006

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