Dear Dr. Date,Rece…

Dear Dr. Date,
Recently my new girlfriend and I have started having sex. She decided to get birth control pills and get herself checked out. Now she wants me to get checked for STDs. I want to go so that she won’t worry anymore. But I heard that it is a painful procedure, so I am hesitant. What exactly do they do? Where should I go to have myself checked?
— Concerned
Anything a guy has to go through is far less uncomfortable than what women have to go through. It’s only fair that you should put up with a few moments of discomfort to put your sweetheart at ease. Tests aren’t always conclusive, but it’s better than just guessing.
You can get yourself checked out at Boynton Health Service on campus. Call them up and tell them you are a student and you’d like to get tested for any sexually transmitted infections.
Once you get to Boynton, they will have you fill out a form about your medical history to find out if there is anything they should know if they need to prescribe anything. Then they’ll stick you in an examination room and ask you to wait for the nurse. After what seems like an hour (even though it’s only about 10 minutes), the nurse will come in and take your blood pressure and weigh you. She might also ask you a few questions.
Depending on what tests they perform on you, you might never even see a doctor. The most common STIs on college campuses are genital warts, chlamydia and gonorrhea. The test for chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most uncomfortable. To do the test, they will need to take a sample from about an inch inside of your urethra — the opening of your penis. They will accomplish this by inserting a specially designed Q-tip about an inch into your urethra. This is uncomfortable, but it only lasts for a second.
There is no definitive test for genital warts other than simply looking. Usually, the doctor will leave this inspection up to you. Should you ever find anything out of the ordinary, then the doctor will take a closer look. Unfortunately, genital warts cannot always be seen. When they are visible, they look much like a regular wart does. Sometimes they grow in larger, colored clusters that will be hard to miss. Normally, the penis has many hair follicles that appear as bumps. If you are unsure what you are looking at, have your doctor check them out.
Herpes is diagnosed in a similar fashion. You will likely have painful sores. Get in the habit of carefully inspecting your entire genital area at least once a month. Make sure to check your scrotum, too. Boynton can also perform a test for HIV. This is merely a blood test.