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‘How should I tell my girlfriend that I want her to get tested for STDs?’

‘How should I tell my girlfriend that I want her to get tested for STDs?’

Danny has been with his girlfriend now for three years. He learned recently that his girlfriend had sex with 18 guys before meeting Danny. Now he wants her to get tested, but isn’t sure how to tactfully convince her this is a good idea.

My Advice:

Danny, based on her history, I would say that having your girlfriend get tested for sexually transmitted infections is extremely important. But it’s important for you, too — and that may be the best approach to getting her to get tested: do it together.

Did you know that HPV is present in over 90% of sexually active people? That’s why getting the vaccine is so important — though it will only protect you if you don’t already have HPV, which is another reason to go get tested. Remember that just like the warts found on people’s fingers, which can come and go, genital warts act the same way. Just because you don’t see any warts, doesn’t mean the virus isn’t there.

Of course, there are plenty of other infections to be worried about here — HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea. And, again, these are things you both need to know about. Here’s what I suggest: Tell your girlfriend you spoke to a doctor about this and lay out the reasons that you are going to get tested, then invite her to do the same thing.  You don’t have to literally go at the same time, though you could.

You both should get tested for HIV and syphilis, which are the two most serious infections you could have.  But you should also get a urine test for chlamydia and gonorrhea, and the test for HPV. If either of you is negative for HPV, then you should get the vaccine, which is given as a series of three shots spaced out over six months.

The bottom line is that you’re right to be concerned and you need to talk about this openly with your girlfriend because these are the kinds of lethal secrets that can ruin a relationship.

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