Talking about STD Tests with New Partners

Q: I am a 35 year old, recently divorced woman. I have never been with anyone other than my ex-husband. I have met someone, and I would like to take our relationship to another level. However, I am worried about STDs. I know that I do not have anything because I had myself tested after my divorce. I know nothing about my new partner’s sexual history. I know I need to ask, but I do not know how to do it. How in the world do I approach my new relationship about STD tests?

S. Hiller

Albuquerque, New Mexico

A: Seeking STD testing before becoming sexually active with a new partner is the responsible thing to do. Understandably, approaching your partner about testing can be uncomfortable. Many people feel that it shows distrust, or they are just uncomfortable talking about it. The reality is that you are simply trying to protect yourself, as well as your partner.

Having already been tested yourself provides a start to the conversation. You might consider presenting your results to your partner, and ask them if they can do the same for you. Some couples prefer to get tested together. The testing process is easy and painless, so they should have no problem getting tested if they haven’t been tested already. For either, or both of you to get tested, simply call our office to find a local collection site and make arrangements. We can have you in the site as early as the same day you call, and we can have your results back in a matter of days.

If your partner hasn’t been tested already and refuses to do so, it may be a sign that you should not be taking your relationship with them to the next level. Please let us know if you have any questions or would like to arrange for testing.