Do You Know Your Partner’s Sexual History?

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“When you have sex with someone, you are actually having sex with every person they have had sex with before.” In America, this is a common phrase in sexual health education. It warns of the dangers that come with not knowing the sexual history of your partner. You may think you have a clean bill of sexual health, and you may think your partner does as well, but it doesn’t mean you’re safe just because you don’t notice anything wrong.

Many STDs can be present in the body without ever showing symptoms. This is incredibly common. It is what’s known as asymptomatic, and it can lead to the spread of infection. Sometimes, your partner may have never shown any signs of infection but a previous partner tested positive for an STD. If your partner has not confirmed that they are not also infected by having STD testing performed, then you may be at risk. This is the exact reason why sexual health educators say that if you have sex with one person, you are also having sex with every person they have had sex with.

Sometimes, people can be nervous or scared to share information about their sexual health. Your partner may have had an STD in the past and may be afraid to share their experience. Some STDs are completely curable, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. Other STDs are viral, like genital herpes or HIV, and therefore stay with a person for life. Understanding what STDs are and how they are treated can really help with any discussion about sexual health. The more you know about sexual health, the easier it will be to talk about. It is important to have an open and honest conversation with your partner about their sexual history and when they last tested for STDs and HIV.

Maybe your partner refuses to discuss their sexual health and sexual history with you. If someone is willing to engage in sexual activity with you, they should also be capable of discussing their sexual experiences with you. You don’t want to end up catching an STD simply because you didn’t have the conversation. If you or your partner have been sexual active in the past with other people you should make sure that each of you know the current status of your sexual health. If left untreated, there are many STDs that can lead to more serious health issues.  This is why it is important to have STD testing performed. Testing is the best way to know the current status of your sexual health. If available in your area, In-Home Collection even allows you to be tested at home, work or another location of your choice.

Sources:
1 Divulging Sexual Pasts In A New Relationship
2 Womansday.com – Revealing your sexual history
3 How much should you tell your partner about your sexual history?
4 Glamour – How to talk about your sexual past

Article by Robert Francis Curtis

Robert studied at Columbia College Chicago. He has worked as a Care Adviser here at Analyte Health for a while and looks forward to spreading more information about sexual health.