Am I At Risk?
Ask yourself these questions. If the answer is "yes", get tested.
1. Have you had sex with more than one person in the last year without a condom?
If you had sex with someone who has an STD, even if it was just once, for just one minute ? even if it wasn't that great ? there is a chance you could have been infected with an STD. And it's hard to tell if someone has an STD because most of the time, they don't even know it. You'd be surprised. You absolutely cannot tell who has an STD and who doesn't have one by the way they look. Outside of a 100% monogamous relationship with someone who is STD-free, using a condom every time you have sexual contact is the best way (other than not having any sex at all) to prevent getting an STD.
2. Did you have sexual contact and you're just not sure how safe it was?
These are the kinds of questions that keep us up at night. Maybe you're worried your partner has been sleeping with someone else. Maybe you're thinking about something that happened in the heat of the moment and it wasn't 100% safe. We've all been there. Think to yourself... was there a condom on every single time? Is it possible that I was a little tired/out of it/half asleep and can't remember everything that went on? What about when body parts touched that weren't well protected? If there's a shadow of doubt about your sexual activity, then getting tested is the best way to get some peace of mind.
3. Have you had oral sex without a condom or dental dam?
Yes, people who want to remain safe wear condoms and dental dams while giving or receiving oral sex. You may not like it, but there it is. If you had a cut or a sore inside your mouth and there was "fluid exchanged", you could be either giving or getting an infection, depending on where you are in this arrangement. Again, getting tested for STDs is the only way to know so you can get on with your life.
4. Have you noticed something on your body that doesn't look or feel right?
If you notice something on your body like a rash, bump, spot, sore, or you have unusual looking discharge, you may have an STD. Maybe. If so, go see your doctor and get an exam. What you are seeing may be an indication of something other than an STD. The thing is you don't need to have any signs at all to have an infection. STD symptoms are often "silent." They don't show up in a rash or bump or anything obvious. The only way to know if you have an STD is to get tested.
5. If you used a condom, are you sure it didn't break or slip off at any point during contact?
Condoms can break. Things happen - even when the condom remains intact. Again, if you aren't sure, get yourself checked out and get tested. Knowing is always better.
6. Are you 100% sure your partner or anyone you've been with does not have an STD?
This is the tricky one. The truth is, you just can't tell if someone has an STD by the way they talk, dress or how clean or classy or innocent they are. None of those things matter. STDs are everywhere. STDs are incredibly common and most of us don't even know we're infected. The only way to know is to get tested.
7. Have you ever had an STD in the past?
If you've had an STD before, you can get reinfected with the same STD or you could contract another one. Also, having some STDs may increase your risk for becoming infected with another one. For example, doctors believe that people who have herpes could be at a higher risk for becoming infected with HIV if exposed to it. Most importantly, if you have had an STD and did not treat it or did not complete the course of medications, you can become reinfected. People who have been diagnosed and treated for either chlamydia or gonorrhea and are given medication for their sexual partners are less likely to become reinfected than people who are told to contact their partners to encourage them to seek treatment.
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