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Minerva's Breakdown: Testing...123...Testing.

Getting tested for STIs is an important part of sexual health, but asking others to do so is difficult

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Dear Minerva:

I'm reentering the dating scene after many years of being single. I was in a committed, monogamous relationship prior to that. Now that I'm on the market, so to speak, I'm concerned about catching something. I admit that I have a lot of trust issues about people and I'm not sure how to communicate that before anything can happen sexually. I will need the other person to be tested. How do I tell them that this is a requirement beforehand, because I don't have and don't want anything?

—Sincerely, Pass the Test

Dear Pass:

Testing is an important part of a responsible and mature sex life. Most people have a conversation about sexual health before getting it on. If you're adamant that they provide you with the results of their STI testing, then you must be prepared, no matter how long you've been celibate, to do the same. If you're taking the relationship slow and serious, then make it a fun activity. Book appointments at the same time at the same clinic. Test results can take some time to get back. Some results are instant. Plan ahead so that when you're ready to have sex, you will have already received your results and can proceed accodingly. Still seriously consider practicing safer sex. Remember: A person's healthcare information is private and sharing something like this is vulnerable. Don't approach your prospective partner with suspicion. Sex isn't a bad thing and sexually active people don't need the burden of judgment from others.