“I really don’t think I have an STD … but I’m not absolutely sure.”
Well, are you:
Feeling great!? No symptoms!?
Many individuals with an STI feel great and don’t have symptoms. Don’t be fooled.
Confident about your partner?
What DO you know about your partner? Their sexual history? Have you asked?
No testing in the past year?
Your dashboard will tell you when you need gas. The bank will tell you when you’re overdrawn. But STIs won’t message you about the need for testing. Be smart.
Use condoms now and then? Sometimes correctly?
What level of STI risk are you comfortable with? Learn what steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) for recommendations regarding abstinence, monogamy, and condom use as means to reduce or eliminate your STI risk.
Oral or anal sex?
Anal sex is the riskiest form of sex. Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections are being diagnosed today in the mouth and the rectum. Learn all you can.
Multiple partners? Partners with multiple partners?
STI math: If you’ve had multiple partners, and they’ve had multiple partners, the risk for infection escalates quickly. If you’ve had two partners, and each of them had two partners, your exposure in a single sexual encounter is three (3) persons. If you’ve had six partners, and each of them had the same, your exposure in a given encounter is 63 persons. If you’ve had 8 partners ⇒ your exposure is 255. Twelve (12) partners ⇒ 4,095.
Don’t Guess. Test.