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How to Ask Someone to Get Tested

Updated on February 26, 2012

If you're old enough to have sex, you are old enough to make sure that both you and your partner are STD free before you do so. If you're afraid to ask someone to do something so absolutely crucial when it comes to maintaining good health, you are not old enough to be having sex. Simple as. The following tips are intended to help you through this situation, but they are by no means written in stone. If you can think of a better adaption that suits your needs, by all means, adapt. And just to be clear, yes, I get tested between each partner and I demand the same of anyone I'm involved with. My body, my rules and if your partner doesn't care about your (or themselves, for that matter) enough to follow through on responsibility, you need to consider whether or not that person is worth your time. I would not sleep with, nor date, any man who couldn't cope with something so absolutely important as male STD testing.

Step 1: Know your stuff

The best defense is knowledge. If you're fully aware of how bacteria and viruses are transmitted, you'll be able to explain why STD testing is so necessary to someone who may not be as knowledgeable. Believe me when I tell you it's incredibly, incredibly easy to pass things like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea around simply by heaving petting. Research these things so you're not one of the countless clueless people out there having sex without a care in the world.

Step 2: Know how and where to get tested.

Many people can be resistant to the idea of STD testing if they think it's a long, painful process that they've got to travel to the end of the earth to have done. Find your local STD clinic, call them up (or visit them in person) and ask them for the answers to the most common questions. How long will it take? What has to be done? How much will it cost? Etc.

Step 3: Be tested already, or be prepared to go together.

If you've not already been tested yourself, you've no right to demand that someone else be. Therefore, have your results on hand, or be prepared to go with your partner, or at least in the same week, for your own testing.

Step 4: Mind your tone when you do the asking.

You absolutely do not want to come across as though you're accusing someone of being infected. What you want to do, is come across like you're concerned fur mutual safety -- and you should be. If you're sleeping with someone, you should care about them and their health. Do not use a preachy tone; do your best to sound like a normal, responsible grownup who understands the logic and pragmatism of routine STD testing.

Step 5a: How to bring it up.

To keep on with the whole not accusing them thing, it's generally a good idea to use yourself as the reason you think the two of you should be tested. For example, you might be unwilling to go all the way until you've been tested, because you don't want to risk your partner's health. Pause thoughtfully, and then act as though it's just occurred to you that your partner may not have been tested recently, either. Yes, this is a bit smarmy, in that you're not coming out and being direct about it. But the fact is, most of you don't have the nerve to be direct and will simply not ask and never get tested otherwise. So just do it and do your share to stop the spread of STDs.

Step 5b: How to bring it up if you've already been tested.

If you've already been tested, you probably don't want to get re-tested for no reason. However, unless you've been tested since the last person you slept with and have then been abstinent for the sufficient window of time, you're probably in need of another STD test anyway. But if you're really positive that you're disease free, you can simply tell them that you've just been tested and you'd like to avoid having to get tested again unnecessarily. Tell them if they get tested for you, you won't have to. And then make sure you tell them how easy and cheap (often free) it will be.

Step 6: Stick to the plan and ditch the prats if need be.

If a man or woman gets too defensive or such a reasonable request, they've got something to hide, and they're mostly likely afraid to see their own test results. The fact is that most adults rarely get tested and many think one test every once in a while is sufficient. Not unless you're in a monogamous relationship it isn't, and not unless you're positive your partner has been faithful. If someone is incapable of being a grownup and respecting your request, they don't respect you. And they surely don't love you, because these are perfectly normal and acceptable things one does when they want to be healthy and responsible adults.


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