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Author Topic: STD tests and which ones to get
When Your Mind's Made Up
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Hello hello. I'm with a new partner, and I'd very much like to go condom-free for P-in-V intercourse (while she's also on birth control pills -- we haven't quite talked out every aspect of a safer sex plan yet, but we would do so), but before we abandon condoms, I want to get tested for STDs. However, I don't know which ones I should get, or if I should just get all of them that are available to me. Just by looking at what a local Planned Parenthood offers, I find that I could get tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, and HIV. Should I just get them all? I mean, I guess it's kind of a judgment call, but are there particular risk factors or reasons to get some of them and not others?
Posts: 81 | From: Houston, Texas | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Ideally, when you go to get tested, a nurse or clinician will be looking at your intake forms, and ask some questions about your sexual history and testing history to assess what tests you need.

Then you get to decide from there, as all of this is elective. So, if they suggest one you don't want, you get to say no, or if they don't suggest one you do, you get to ask for that one, too.

My own best advice when you have never been tested before is to simply ask for a full panel of tests, and that usually is a CT/CG (chlamydia and gonorrhea), HIV, syphilis and then a visual exam to look for any evidence of HPV (there's no male test for HPV otherwise), herpes or other infections where symptoms can be found that way.

Herpes tests aren't usually recommended except for people who might become very ill from it, primarily because Herpes is so widespread that most people will test positive for antibodies, since many of us are constantly exposed, even if we don't have it. But it still is a test you can ask for if you want it.

(It's good to hear from you, by the way! I hope you've been doing well.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68237 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
When Your Mind's Made Up
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quote:
(It's good to hear from you, by the way! I hope you've been doing well.)
I have, thank you. It's kind of a delight to have you remember and welcome me like that after so much time, so thank you again. In the last month I've graduated with a bachelor's degree and also met this new person, for whom I have a lot of respect and much affection. It feels like my life has taken a pretty major turn toward the good.
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Heather
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Of course! [Smile]

And that all sounds fantastic. What a great turnaround: I'm so glad to hear it!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68237 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
When Your Mind's Made Up
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I've got an appointment at Planned Parenthood on Monday. Assuming that all goes well, and all the tests come up negative, the upshot is that my partner and I can go condom-free. I guess I just want to know what else I need to know to be prepared, and it's the unlikely situation of a pregnancy I'm thinking about now. There's Plan B, which is available over the counter to women over 18 (or maybe 21? At any rate, my partner's age won't be a problem there). Although I guess we wouldn't run into a situation where we'd be using it, because since we'll be going without condoms consistently, we won't have a broken condom or an unplanned ejaculation to alert us to the need for Plan B. Beyond that, our only option for dealing with a pregnancy that somehow occurs despite our using birth control is pretty much an abortion. Right? It's a scary thought.
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When Your Mind's Made Up
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She's on the pill now, and she's planning on transitioning to the implant. Her doctor told her to come in as soon as she begins spotting, and then they'll install it.
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Robin Lee
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The implant has been shown to be more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy, and has the benefit of not needing to be maintained. Therefore, no room for user error. [Smile]

Do you feel like you can comfortably live with that small risk of pregnancy?

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Robin

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When Your Mind's Made Up
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Yeah, I think so.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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There you go. [Smile]

And if you can't, it's not like it's against the rules to back up with condoms. [Smile]

Condoms are both a contraceptive AND an STI prevention device. Even if the STI-angle is covered, or both folks feel okay with that, it's not like they still can't be used as birth control, because either one or both people involved feel like they want to use them with another method, for any reason at all.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68237 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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