Let’s talk about sex and how to have a conversation with your partner(s) about your sexual history. Sometimes people are very surprised by the results of their STD/STI tests. They may be upset and worried, or wonder what else they should now be concerned about. To help avoid being in this situation, one thing you can do is to have a conversation with your sexual partner(s) about your sexual history and show each other a copy of your most recent STD test results. This suggestion is no commentary on any individual or partner, it’s just something that can help prevent the hurt that can come from what is, from a healthcare providers’ perspective, a relatively common occurrence: an unexpected positive test result.
Why Share STD Results
When partners show each other the results of their most recent STD testing, it may serve several purposes:
- It can create transparency and openness with each other about this sensitive topic. You might be pleasantly surprised about the other helpful, if sometimes difficult, conversations that happen because of results being shared.
- The transparency that follows can help build trust.
- Partners may realize that their most recent STD testing wasn’t as recent as they thought…or didn’t include what they thought. This allows partners to make a decision together about moving forward.
- It encourages you and your partner to “look before you leap.” This goes for both physical and emotional needs and desires related to sex. You can use this opportunity to take time to look inward and ask yourself some empowering questions, such as:
“If I don’t slow down enough to take this precaution, am I going in a healthy direction?”
“If my partner doesn’t slow down enough to take this precaution, how much do they care about their health, or mine?”
“If I, or my partner, feel threatened or frustrated by this request, what is that telling me about myself, my partner and/or our relationship?”
“Is a spontaneous encounter with someone I don’t know very well worth the price of having to wonder, worry, or potentially be stuck with an STD that may or may not be curable?”
“What are the boundaries am I setting for myself and my sexuality, so that I get the safety and respect that I deserve?”
How to get STD Results
If these reasons are compelling to you, it is easy to get a copy of your STD/STI test results. In some instances, you can login to your provider’s patient portal and download a copy. Otherwise, you can request a copy by calling the facility where you had testing and asking for your most recent lab results. If you don’t remember where or when your last STD testing was done, it may be time to consider getting tested again. To find out how easy the process is to get tested, see our last blog.
– WISH Medical Clinician
*This is not medical advice or a substitute for medical care. Please see your health care provider if you need medical care.