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How To Talk About STD Testing

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Updated February 03, 2014

How To Talk About STD Testing
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Before you have sex with a new partner, it's important to talk with them about STD testing. It's a good idea for everyone to be screened for STDs before embarking on a new sexual relationship, but sometimes it's difficult to figure out how to get the conversation started.

Things each person should make certain to discuss when talking about testing include:

  1. When was the last time they were tested?
     
  2. What specific STDs were tested for.
    (Everything is not a good answer. Everything usually means the person doesn't actually know if they were tested.)
     
  3. When was the last time they had a risky sexual sexual encounter before they were tested?
     
  4. What their sexual risk behaviors have been like since the last time they were tested.
     

Here is a sample script for how such a sex talk might go

"I think we're getting to the point in our relationship where things might get sexual, and before they do I wanted to talk about STD testing and safer sex."

"Okay... What do you want to talk about?"

"Well, I'll start by saying that I'm not sleeping with anyone else, and I recently tested negative for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. I haven't been tested for HIV or herpes in about a year, but last I checked I was negative for both of those as well."

"Okay"

"Have you had an std test recently?"

"Well I got my check-up last month and the doctor said everything was okay."

"Were you tested for STDs?"

"I guess so."

"You should ask. Many doctors don't regularly screen their patients for STDs."

"Um. Okay."

"Well, if you haven't been tested then I would really appreciate if you would get tested before we have sex. I always practice safer sex, but it's better to be safe than sorry."

"That's cool, I guess. Do you still want to make out?"

"Oh yes... if I didn't really want to have sex with you I wouldn't have started to have this conversation in the first place."

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