No one has ever argued that having a discussion with your partner about STD testing is easy. In fact, it is likely to be one of the most difficult conversations you will have. Despite some possible awkwardness, this is definitely a conversation that you do need to have. Of course, you need to be prepared for all outcomes; they may take the request the wrong way, or they may actually have wanted to bring the subject up with you…but were too nervous. Here are some ideas to help make that conversation go a bit more smoothly.
Everyone deserves the right to sexual health. By letting your partner know that this is not particularly about them, but rather making sure that you are BOTH sexually healthy it can help this conversation to go more smoothly. By clearly communicating that this is not a situation where you think they are dirty or have slept around too much, this may even alleviate a number of fears.
Offer To Get Tested Yourself:
A great way to breach this subject would be to offer to get tested yourself. The idea here is that your partner can clearly see this is not so much about them or you as it is about both of you. This way, you will both end up knowing how safe future sexual relations will be. Of course, it is a well-known fact that HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and viruses can take up to 3 months to show in testing, so you might also want to have a discussion about at least the more recent sexual history that you have both had. If it has been more than three months, then a test can be an excellent barometer.
When To Pop The Question:
There is also a lot of debate about the right time to ask about getting tested. Some will argue that this should be done almost immediately. In fact, sometimes people approach this topic by explaining that they have a policy in all new relationships to wait three months since your last sexual encounter (for both of you) and then you both go get tested together.
Another school of thought is to bring up the testing question at the point in which you are ready to take things to a more serious level. Meaning an intimate level. Of course, this could mean waiting for any sexual activity. It may also save some embarrassment of asking too soon and potentially causing too much awkwardness in the relationship.
Forget About Misconceptions:
In our society today, we are bombarded with a lot of useless information at times. Many people have some very mistaken ideas about sexual relations and STD’s. Many people, when sizing up a potential partner, give them the famous ‘eye test.’ A simple once over and they determine that s/he looks ‘safe’ or is ‘too attractive’ to actually have a sexually transmitted disease. Sure, your eye is better than an actual STD test, right?
We all know that it is always much better to be safe than sorry. This is about your sexual health and staying free from a disease that can cause you untold pain, discomfort, and a lot of other problems. So, is this really worth avoiding a simple conversation? Especially now that you have some better tools for approaching the subject.
Created by About My Health, the STD and HIV test experts.