Q: Good morning, Dr. I was raped in 2014, I did not go for any medical test because I didn’t know what to do. Sometimes last year(December) I had sex for the first time, unprotected, my partner feel ill after that, does it mean that I infected him. Meanwhile I have done HIV/AIDS test severally. Please doctor what should I go. I am so scared.
A: Hello dear, my heart goes out to you for what happened. There are two things every rape victim must always do…report the rapist to the police and get yourself checked out in a hospital. Usually when people are raped, they experience a deep sense of shame making it difficult for them to seek help and indeed prosecution for the person accused. This should not be. Please seek help…for you to ensure that you do not end up with any STI, for emergency contraception, to get checked out by a doctor especially if you suspect you have a tear etc and to ensure that your predator is not emboldened to do this to another person, ever again. Going to law enforcement as soon as possible would help as the clothes may contain some forensic evidence.
Now in your case, you did not do any of this. However, you should still get yourself checked out. Go and see your doctor and let him know what happened to you and let him decide what tests are relevant now. In addition, seek counseling too. That your partner got ill after unprotected intercourse does not mean you infected him…especially, if the doctor confirms you have no infection. If there is an infection though, open up to your partner and both of you should get treated at the same time. Hopefully, your partner sticks around for the long haul; but if he doesn’t, it’s his loss. You need to focus on you now. You have to let go of the experience you had in order to begin your life afresh without fear and hang-ups.
Having said all of that, unprotected intercourse is a sure-fire way of getting pregnant and getting STIs. Generally, remember the ABCs. Abstain…which is always the best bet if you’re not married, be faithful to one partner (who is hopefully being faithful to you) or use condoms.
To help prevent other incidents of rape, practice personal safety and trust your instincts. If the situation looks or feels fishy, it probably is. Try to ensure you go with company if you must visit any friend of the opposite sex or better still, meet in a public place etc.
If you’re in Nigeria, Project Alert (http://www.projectalertnig.org/) and the Lagos Domestic Violence centers (http://domesticviolence.com.ng/help-for-domestic-violence/) will also be able to provide some more practical support in terms of counselling and probably legal help, if required.
Stay safe, okay?!
Loads of love and hugs coming your way…
Have a great night, people 😀