Donate Now
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Got Questions? Get Answers. » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Std status of a partner

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Std status of a partner
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Retro52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good morning!
This is a great and encouraging site from what I can see. I have a few questions I've been wondering about. When discussing sex history with a parter and whether or not they've been tested, what's the best way to go about that to get all the information you need as well as not obsess over it to them? I recently engaged in mutual masturbation and one time oral sex with a heterosexual male who said he had his annual test done last year and had not had anal or vaginal sex in 2 years, so he believed he was still free of any sexual infections/HIV. And at the time I assumed it was fine because I know him and he is friends with many of my friends so when we hooked up, it was unprotected oral and mutual masturbation. But am I actually unaware of his status? I know for a fact that he had always used protection for any anal and vaginal sex, and that he has not done those things, protected or not (nor has he done drugs that are injected ever in his life), since a yet prior to his last testing session.

Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Welcome to the site, Retro52. [Smile]

I'd say the first thing, the most basic thing, with this, is to understand that your BEST protection with STIs isn't testing, or knowing someone, but using barriers. So, if you want to do the best you can to protect yourself with partners, using barriers for any oral, vaginal or anal sex has always got to be a given. Especially with brand-new partners where you haven't each been exclusive, only with each other, for at least six months and with a new round of tests, or with partners where you're not exclusive, period.

Ultimately, people's sexual history isn't going to tell you very much about their possible STI status, unless what you're asking about is testing and if, with any sexual partners they have had before, they have or haven't been using barriers.

You got that information, sounds like, and decided to engage in the kinds of sex you did unprotected: is that a judgment call you're feeling okay about now or not?

Per the best way to ask, really, I'd say you just ask, probably like you did: you ask if they get tested and when the last time was, as well as what the results were. I'd say the best way not to obsess about it, though, is to use barriers, since again, the answers to those questions can only offer you so much per risk reduction.

--------------------
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: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Retro52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes I agree. And I hate to sound immature but no one I know uses barriers for oral sex and any guy I ask thinks its an odd question because they've never had them used on them before. I'm not saying it's dumb to use them at all or by any means - it's just not a common practice I don't think? Anyways, I do know him well enough to know he's never had unprotected anal or vaginal sex and the last time he was tested was over 6 months after his last vaginal/anal interaction. I suppose I'm just wondering how "safe" I am based on his statistics? Indeed I do regret giving him unprotected oral. I have always been very cautious about everything I do and it typically has turned into me being uptight in the sexual department as well as not ever having a stress free good time in that department as well. So I thought I was being safe by asking him and determining his sexual past (which I honestly am certain is the truth) but I wanted to let loose a little bit you know. Anyways. Like I said, I guess I just want to know if I just ended my life by being stupid and potentially contracting a disease.
Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't think you sound immature.

But, I think where maturity might come in here, and be something to build on, is recognizing that no matter what other people you know do, your sexual and health decisions really need to be about what YOU need and want, not about what other people do or don't do.

Same goes for having the assertiveness, or developing it, to ask for condoms with oral sex if you want that protection, and to ask -- or insist -- with confidence. Because if you do, even if some guy thinks it unusual, chances are when you just set your limit with confidence, he'll put the condom on. If you ask like it's weird, or like you're asking for some giant favor? Then for sure, a partner is going to pick up on that and treat it the same way you're putting it out there: know what I mean?

Mind, if no one else you know, for real, uses barriers for oral sex, and you're hooking up in your own social circle, then you've got to know that your STI risks from that activity in that circle are may well be high.

That said, I think going to the place where you worry you have ended your life is taking things pretty darn far, especially since while oral sex can technically pose an HIV risk, there are only a handful of cases ever reported per HIV being acquired that way. And that's the only STI that can end your life (others can make you very ill, but if you get regularly tested yourself, and treated if and when you acquire one, chances are even with an STI, you'll be just fine).

We can't say how safe or not safe you are based on his getting tested a year ago. Because really, all that tells us is that as of a year ago, he presumably was tested for the STIs he can be tested for (guys can't get tested for HPV, but can for everything else, but who knows which he was tested for), and was negative then.

But personally? In circles where safer sex doesn't appear to the the order of the day? Those are the circles where, moving forward, I'd advise being EXTRA cautious, rather than less so. You live, you learn. I'd also, personally, be wary of circles where it's not where everyone says they get tested: most typically, people who get tested regularly also don't treat any kind of safer sex as unusual.

I wouldn't beat yourself up over this, okay? Rather, I'd focus on what you can do from here.

--------------------
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: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Retro52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That makes sense and thank you! I appreciate your reassurance. I guess HIV was the one I was most worried about. I've read in many forums and websites that it can be a negligible risk or it can be a high risk. What's your stance? Because as you said, other STDs can be treated. And I know for absolute certainty that I will not be having unprotected oral sex again, that's for sure. And honestly, I know he wouldn't object to me asking to wear a condom for oral, I guess it's just not a typical practice among people I know. Should I go out and get tested for HIV from this? I understand my risk is low since it was a one time thing, and in general I do have good oral health aside from biting a lip or cheek every once in awhile chewing food, and I know nothing was bleeding when I have him oral. We're the handful of infections you speak of under extreme conditions?
Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In terms of HIV and roal sex, specifically?

Like I said, we know it *can* be transmitted that way, but so far -- and this is so far with almost 30- years of study and data, at this point -- we also know that few cases have ever been reported where HIV clearly was orally transmitted, versus the far, far more common avenues of transmission (namely, vaginal or anal sex or IV transmission).

Have you yet started your own STI testing? If not, then by all means, it sounds like now would be a great time to do that. If you're already sexually active, it's time to start anyway, but since you are also feeling worried right now, sounds like it could also give you some needed comfort.

I'm afraid I don't understand this question:
quote:
We're the handful of infections you speak of under extreme conditions?
Try asking me differently?

Per asking a partner to use condoms for oral, I hear you saying you feel this person would not have objected. If you like, we can talk through why you didn't ask, then, to try and troubleshoot how to get you to the point where you'd feel you could? After all, using barriers doesn't have to mean not "letting loose." We can still enjoy a feeling of sexual freedom with safer sex. In fact, I'd say we can tend to feel freer when we do, because we don't have nagging worries in our heads, before, during and after, about huge risks. [Smile]

--------------------
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: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Retro52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh okay I understand now. And yes I have been tested before but was planning on doing it annually which would make September my next time to test. If this happened about 2 weeks ago, and I'm going to my gyno in 3 weeks, does that allow enough time to get an accurate and definite result for all stds?

And the question you're asking about - sorry I must have had a typo I missed. What I meant to ask was: when you mentioned that there had only been a handful of infections ever from oral transmission, were those infections due to extreme conditions? And is a handful like 5 people in 30 years? Or is it thousands? I'm just trying to better understand the risk here.

Thank you again. I suppose I just need someone to tell me that I'm okay and probably do not need to worry about this situation but should learn from it and be more responsible next time?

Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
With testing, it's really the habit of testing that gives us the information we need, rather than one given test.

If you are having different sexual partners more often than once a year, then you'll want to up how often you get tested, maybe switching to twice a year. Once a year isn't what's generally suggested for people who aren't exclusive or who have more than one exclusive partner in a year, but more frequent testing to basically match the more frequent change in partners. Make sense?

I'd go ahead and get tested the next time you're at your GYN. You're not going to be able to be totally sure that you didn't pick up anything for absolute sure this time no matter WHEN you test in terms of timing (incubation periods can all vary, so like, getting a Chlamydia positive from a risk within a couple weeks, when you picked it up, is common, whereas HPV can go undetected for a decade). Again, it's about the regular habit of testing, rather than once test. But you can ask your GYN to fill you in on the different incubation periods with different STIs, and the accuracy of each test per the when.

I'm not sure what "extreme conditions" means, or how we could know that. But this CDC factsheet on HIV and oral sex should fill you in on the basic well: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/oralsex.htm

Alas, I can't tell you the status of your health and what, if any, health outcomes you'll have from this incident. Wish I could, but I lack the psychic abilities to do that. Your healthcare and healthcare provider is where to head for that information.

But what I *can* do is help you change your habits some to better reduce your risks, which includes things like using barriers for any oral, anal and vaginal sex ESPECIALLY with casual hookups or new partners, and all the more so with any partners you know or suspect haven't been using barriers for any of those activities, because their STI risks will always have been higher, so they'll pose a higher risk for you. (And you for them too, mind, if you also haven't been using barriers for all those activities.)

We don't have to do that now, but if you do want to shift these habits, I do think working through whatever has stood in the way for you of those habits you'd prefer for your health is going to be something you have to do, as is then figuring out what you need to change to change the channel here and feel more confident about insisting on barriers. happy to help you with that if you like. [Smile]

[ 03-10-2013, 11:57 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
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: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Retro52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay I understand what you're saying. And I especially know you can't tell me you know if I have anything or not, that would only exist in a perfect world! But should I be worrying myself sick? I feel like I'm getting more and more worried from this, and while I know it won't change anything, am I likely to see a positive HIV result from just this? I will get tests done at my appointment in a few weeks, but that's a ways away unfortunately.
Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, worrying doesn't make you any more likely to be well. It just adds stress that actually taxes your immune system, making it work less well.

So, my best advice is to try and ditch worry about things in the past, whatever the situation, and focus on what you can actually DO, proactively, from here on out.

In your case, sounds like that probably includes more frequent testing and developing sexual habits more in alignment with the kind of protection from STIs you want and feel comfortable with.

Like I've already said, acquiring HIV from oral sex is a risk, but not a high risk. It's other STIs which are far more likely to be transmitted orally and which far more commonly are.

[ 03-10-2013, 12:10 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
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: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Retro52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I understand. Thank you. Ill try not to worry if so few people have ever been infected that way, I'm gonna assume that I likely was not. Thank you again for your advice and ill be much more careful now.
Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Do you want help moving forward with that?

If so, I think talking about why you didn't feel able to ask for a condom this time might be a great place to start. That way, we can probably figure out together what will help you get there more easily the next time around. [Smile]

--------------------
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: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Retro52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Moving forward with thinking I'm not infected with a std? How can you help me do that?

Like I said, I've just never thought of it as something I needed to do, until now, and will from here on out.

Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Moving forward with changing your habits so you're less likely to pick one up. And generally, to change those habits, it's not as simple as just changing your mind: people tend to need help working out what they're having a hard time with, and get some helps to make negotiating safer sex easier.

--------------------
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: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Retro52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Moving forward with thinking I'm not infected with a std? How can you help me do that?

Like I said, I've just never thought of it as something I needed to do, until now, and will from here on out.

I do however have one last question regarding the potential of contracting something. If I get tested at 5 weeks past the experience, will the HIV test come back with a result I can rely on? I know others may not show up, but seeing as HIV is what is the scariest one, it's what I'm most curious about.

Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Like I said, to really get accurate results from tests, it's about regular testing, not any one test.

In general, though, with HIV specifically, most tests will pick up antibodies anywhere between 2 weeks and 2 months. Sometimes, it's more like 3-6 months. But your healthcare provider can tell you about the specific test they choose to use, and how sensitive it is, and can also tell you what that means for you in terms of the accuracy of results.

--------------------
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: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Retro52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I see. So if I get a negative result at 5 weeks should I feel at ease at all or is that just a test that needs to be done? I just don't want to pass it along to someone else if somehow I do have it [Frown]
Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, if you're using barriers for any oral, vaginal or anal sex, passing on HIV is nigh unto impossible.

But per how accurate a test at five weeks past a given risk will be, again, talk to the healthcare provider about that. They can explain which specific test they are giving you, and how accurate it is in that specific time window. All HIV tests are not the same, so there isn't any one answer for that question for all tests.

--------------------
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: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Retro52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh okay thank you. Look I really appreciate your help, I just am worried especially since I can't test for weeks from now. It's scary to think about is all [Frown] but maybe I have no reason to worry, I don't know.
Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm sorry that you're feeling so scared, but I'm afraid there just really isn't anything else we, or anyone else, can offer you at this point per what's already done.

All you can do now is go ahead and get a new round of testing, do all you can to try and relax and take care of yourself in the meantime, and move forward making safer choices.

(Mind, if you want to test sooner rather than later, we could probably help you find somewhere to do that.)

--------------------
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: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Retro52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I understand. Ill just take comfort in the fact that you said it is an unlikely route of transmission.
Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And maybe do some other things, too, that you know work to take care of yourself when you're feeling worried and stressed?

--------------------
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: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Retro52
Neophyte
Member # 105177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Retro52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Like what?
Posts: 32 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know: I don't know you to know what kinds of self-care you tend to engage in and use when you're stressed or worried.

--------------------
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: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3

Google
Search Scarleteen