Sexually Transmitted Diseases aren’t the most romantic topic to discuss with a new partner, but for your health and the health of your partner talking about your status and testing is vital.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a few pointers on how to get the conversation going:
- Talk Before You Have Sex. Before being intimate, sit down and talk about the benefits of getting tested. You can start the conversation by saying, “Getting tested before we have sex will protect both of us,” or “Why take a chance when we can know for sure?” During this conversation, you can discuss sexual history and whether either of you have engaged in risky sexual behavior like unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners or intravenous drug use.
- Share the Facts. Make sure you are both aware of the facts about STDs. You can tell your partner, “Many people who have an STD don’t know it,” and “The sooner most STDs are found, the easier they are to treat.”
- Get Tested Together. Recommend getting tested together, it can take the pressure off of just one person in the relationship getting tested. Let your partner know you’ve done the research and know where to go to get tested. You can find out where to get tested by visiting HIVTest.org or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.
After you’ve discussed getting tested, both should agree to stay safe throughout the relationship by using condoms and refraining from risky sexual behavior.