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WHATS YOUR TAKE ON ASKING A PARTNER TO TAKE AN HIV TEST

Health Segment with JACKIE

Asking a partner to be tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections ( STIs) can be a difficult conversation to have. It is a sensitive subject formost and may result in hurt feelings or other emotions. Some may take the request the wrong way and assume their partner believes they are dirty or sleep around. However, if a person clearly communicates the reasons for wanting their partner to be tested, and get tested with their partner, the conversation may go a lot smoother. A person may demonstrate that they are looking out for their own safety as well as the safety of their partner.

Many people believe that
STIs are rare or that you can only acquire them from “sleeping around.” However, STIs are actually more common than one may think.

1 STIs can also be transferred in a single sexual encounter. Due to the prevalence of STIs and the ease of spreading them during sexual contact, it is essential to get tested and to communicate with one’s partner about sexual health before the encounter occurs. Although it may feel uncomfortable to bring up this topic, it is a vital conversation that does not have to be difficult if both partners are honest and open.

Tips for Communicating With Your Partner

Effective, honest, and open communication is one of the most important foundations of a relationship. The following list details some tips on how to communicate about STIs and testing:

●Make it clear to your partner that you are not judging their past sexual history or accusing them of sleeping around. Communicate that you want to get tested because you care about your own sexual health and that of your partner, not because you think they are “dirty.”
If you are both due for a screening, offer to go together to get tested so your partner knows that you are serious about your own sexual health and want both of you to be as safe and healthy as possible.
●Be honest with your partner about your own history of STI’s.

If you have an STI, it is essential that you disclose this so you and your partner can take the proper steps to ensure both of your safety. It may feel scary or embarrassing to reveal your STI, but your partner should always be kind and reassuring. It is never shameful to have an STI. However, it is unfair to withhold this information from your partner because you could be putting them at risk.
●Do not feel pressured to engage in sexual activity with a partner who is unwilling to get tested or discuss sexual health with you.

Any potential partner has a responsibility to collaborate with you when it comes to safety and getting tested. Someone who is unwilling to take these steps is most likely not responsible enough to be sexually active.

Before engaging in sexual contact, it is essential to get tested for STIs and make sure your partner has gotten tested as well. Being aware of your own health status and that of your partner will increase the trust and comfort between you and your partner. As long as you communicate effectively with your partner, your sexual encounters can be both safe and enjoyable.

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