Ask FHM is a corner of the Internet where we fan the flames of your burning questions. Here, we dish out some tough love and an honest take on whatever potentially life-changing situation you find yourself in (while silently thanking God we aren’t you right now). Ask us anything. Except for money, and if open-minded ba kami.
Vol. 2: I Gave My Girl An STD
“I recently got back with my long-time girlfriend. It was a bumpy road for us—we broke up a few times, and I admit I did the whole sow-my-oats thing for a while—but now that I’m in my late twenties, I feel ready to commit for good. Except for one thing: I gave her an STD. She’s hella pissed, and now I’m not sure if she’s just staying with me because she knows she can’t really be with anyone else anymore. What do I do?”
Dude, we’re just going to put it out there right off the bat—STDs are seriously uncool. Far be it from us to tell you off about sleeping around while you were uncoupled (we’d probably do the same, TBH, and you’re well within your rights to do whatever the heck you want), but with sexually transmitted infections or disease, well, we reserve the right to give you a bit of shit about it. They’re no longer something you can poke fun at or just ignore.
Calling it a rampant problem would be a bit of an understatement. I guess you can take comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone? In June 2016, there were 26 newly-diagnosed cases of HIV a day. A. FREAKING. DAY. As of May 2017, there were 44,010 cases. That’s a lot of people. You’ve probably swiped right on a couple of them on Tinder. The UN even reported that Philippines has the dubious distinction of having the highest HIV infection growth rate in the Asia Pacific. So yeah, we may be screwing around and having more fun than our neighbors, but damn if we aren’t paying the price for it.
And it probably wouldn’t be unfair to say that those digits wouldn’t have climbed so high if weren’t for the lack of two things: awareness, and a crap-ton of basic, honest-to-goodness responsibility. Bud, excuse us for making a cautionary tale of your sorry ass, but we have to say this once for everyone else out there: If you can’t limit who you sleep with, at least take charge and get yourself tested often.
If you can go to the gym to score abs in time for the summer, you can head to a clinic for a simple test to make sure you aren’t endangering whoever you manage to fool with the aforementioned abs. And this is the part where we tell you not to forget protection. It’s not about accidentally getting someone pregnant anymore—babies won’t kill you, but some STDs will. (Besides, babies are cute. You can coo over cute photos and laugh at stupid videos of them all day. Same cannot be said for the clap. Or HIV.)
So, on to your particular pickle. Since we’re on the topic of getting pregnant, you may want to treat her the same way as if you had accidentally knocked her up. Be sensitive to her feelings. Take her to the doctor, because it’s your damn fault she needs to go in the first place. Support her through her stages of denial, and grief, and bear her anger and sadness. Unfortunately, there won’t be an adorable mini-you to make it all worth it after nine months, but that’s okay.
This is not the time to ditch her, or use her coldness or anger as an exit—you weren’t responsible enough to keep her from getting sick, at least be a decent dude and stick around while you both try to get better, or at least get a handle on what you’re in for.
You say you love this girl, so do all you can to help ease her fears about having an STD. Yes, you gave it to her, but you are also in the best position to support her through it. She’s going to have to live with it, as do you, and maybe down the road she can forgive your fault in all of it. Focus on getting and staying healthy, getting to up-to-date on the latest facts and info on whatever STD you’ve both contracted, and be an advocate for safe sex and STD testing (but not in a preachy way, you know? Unless you want your friends to stop inviting you to inuman sessions).
But that being said, and in relation to your concern about her staying with you for the wrong reasons, the ball is in her court. You simply cannot control the outcome of this relationship deal-breaker free fall. You already took away a lot of her options and decisions when she got infected, and she’s going to have to work on feeling empowered again. Only she can decide if she wants to stay with you, and what her motivation for that would be—and as for you, you’re just going to have to live with it, buddy.
Illustration Borg Sinaban