In the infamous episode, “All Adventurous Women Do”, of HBO’s Girls, Hannah freaks out and decides she’s going to go to her gynecologist to get tested for STDs. Seems her panic is somewhat warranted because she gets diagnosed with HPV. After confronting her partner, Adam, who claims he got tested for that and didn’t give it to her, Hannah is at a loss. What Hannah doesn’t find out until later is that men cannot be tested for HPV and that’s true. Right now, there is no recommended test for men for HPV. According to the CDC, most sexually active adults will contract HPV at some point in their lifetime.
Use these sites to learn more about STDs. Keep yourself educated; keep yourself safe. The CDC and PA Department of Public Health provide tons of great information. The more you know…
Most importantly, talk to your partner about STDs. It’s better to have an awkward conversation early in your relationship than to find out later that you have a sexually transmitted disease- talk about an awkward conversation that no one wants to have!
Now, it’s time.
It’s time to get tested.
While Jessa from HBO’s Girls claims, that “all adventurous women do” (when referring to STDs/HPV), don’t take a leaf out of her book. Adventurous women can still be safe. There are many free clinics in the Philadelphia area and many don’t even need you to make an appointment! Just stop by after class or work and get tested. It’s important to make sure that you’re being safe with your partner by using condoms, and that you’re being safe with your sex toys by washing them properly after each use. But nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to get tested.
Clinics and health centers make it easy to get properly tested. Here's a list of a few locations near our home base in Philadelphia, PA:
Circle of Care
1700 Market Street, 18th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 985-2602
Walk-ins welcome 9:30- 4:45 M-F
Please have ID handy for building entry
If you are 26 and under, these two locations provide the HPV vaccine. http://takecontrolphilly.org/help/
Department of Public Health (Health Center #5)
1900 N 20th StPhiladelphia, PA 19146
The drop-in hours for this location are
8:00-4:00 M – F*
*Please be aware that these hours are subject to change so please call ahead for the most updated information.
Department of Public Health (Health Center #1)
500 South Broad StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19146 215-685-6570
7:45 am - 4:15 pm / Mon - Fri4:30 - 7:15 / Mon - Wed
Department of Public Health (Health Center #3)
555 S 43rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30AM - 5PM
The Department of Public Health Centers provide free condoms. But if you’re ever unsure of where to go, you can download the iCondom Philly (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/icondom-philly-philadelphias/id428303918?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4) app from the app store. It provides pinpoint locations on a map to the nearest location for free condoms!