Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause serious health problems. Take note though, STD is the only one that comes with signs and symptoms. This means it’s possible to contract STI and not know it! It’s vital to both use protection and get an STD test or STI test after each new sexual partner.
With that, it might also be necessary to make sure your partner/s get tested too. There’s still a lot of stigma and misinformation around sexual health, and not everyone is comfortable talking openly about it. While it’s not the easiest nor the sexiest conversation to have, it’s important to talk about getting tested before you do the deed.
Whether you’re about to engage in a casual hook-up or having sex for the first time, it’s normal to feel nervous asking about someone’s testing status. If you’re worried about “killing the mood” or appearing presumptuous, just remember: this is your health we’re talking about! Sexually transmitted infections and diseases are a serious matter. Avoiding an awkward conversation is never as important as keeping yourself safe.
STIs aren’t transmitted every time you have sex, it’s possible to have sex with someone multiple times and not catch an STI from them until the nth time. So if you’ve already had sex with someone but neither of you has broached the subject, it’s still not too late to insist on getting an STI test or STD test before you do it again. We all agree that asking your partner to get tested is important. But how do you do it? Dima has some tips that might help:
It’s safest not to assume every partner will volunteer their sexual information unprompted. Be proactive! Even if you’re afraid of making them uneasy, talk about getting tested. Your wellbeing should always trump their discomfort.
In an ideal world, everyone is comfortable talking about sex. Unfortunately, we know this isn’t the case at all. Don’t be too surprised if you don’t immediately get a great reaction when you bring up the topic of STD or STI.
You can expect initial reluctance. If they insist on changing the topic or that you should just “trust each other,” then be alarmed. Knowing your partner’s status before having sex should be non-negotiable. It’s simple: If your partner is being secretive about their status and you can’t convince them to open up and/or get tested, don’t have sex with them.
If they respond with disgust or harsh words, forget about them. You shouldn’t be involved with anyone who isn’t concerned about their or partner/s’ sexual health. You deserve better and you know it!
There are plenty of clinics across the country where you can get tested for STD, STIs, and HIV, specifically. Before you have sex, get in touch with the nearest testing location and set an appointment to put your mind at ease. It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed, but it’s still the right decision to because untreated infections have long-term effects on your health.
If you test positive, the next step is to get the proper, doctor-recommended treatment. You could have infected others unknowingly, so inform previous partners so they can get tested too. Lastly, make sure you don’t have sex until your doctor says you’re all clear.
Don’t ever downplay the importance of knowing your and your partner/s’ STI status. It’s crucial for everyone to take the necessary steps to protect their personal health.
September 9, 2020