We are all responsible adults, right? Right?
April 23, 2011 12:15 PM Subscribe
Are my expectations about STD testing unreasonable? Am I being paranoid?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (52 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I am a lady in her twenties who has been sexually active for a number of years now. It's sort of my personal policy that periodic STD testing is a good thing, given the weird latency periods for a number of diseases, the chance that even monogamous partners cheat, the understanding that early intervention in an infection is better that late intervention, and the fact that so many tests now are ridiculously easy and inexpensive. So I always get tested once a year during my pelvic exam, but I also get tested whenever I believe there is a chance I've been exposed to something (cheating ex, I'm looking at you), and often at the start of new relationships, even if it might be slightly redundant, because I like going in with a clean slate and getting everyone on the same page and other cliches about honesty and responsibility and junk.
When I get involved with someone, I like to know what their testing status is, even if we are using condoms. If the answer is something like, “uh...I dunno. Three years ago, maybe” (or the increasingly common, “never, actually”), or if I want to ramp up the BJ situation (which I hate doing with a condom), I ask them if they wouldn't mind getting tested.
Apparently, I am being unreasonable. With the exception of my last ex, who was awesome in so many ways, I always feel like this is a conversation that involves pulling teeth. I am often told that I am being paranoid. Many guys don't seem to understand why they should get tested if they were in a monogamous relationship before getting involved with me. They keep asserting that blowjobs are risk-free (and also are surprised to hear of a thing called oral chlamydia). That they are not needle drug users or bisexual means, according to them, that they are low-risk and I shouldn't worry about it. They ask why I keep getting myself tested so often. They don't understand what the big deal is. The conversation usually ends on a weird note where I feel guilty for doubting their responsibility.
So, I guess the question is: as someone who gets tested around 1-2 times a year (or more often if I feel the situation warrants it, a la the cheating ex or that night the condom totally busted), I kind of expect that other sexually active adults fall along a similar schedule. It makes me really uncomfortable if I am with someone and that is not the case. Are my expectations too high? Am I paranoid? Is it more normal for someone who is dating/having sex/not celibately cloistered somewhere to get tested only every 2-4 years? What are reasonable expectations, here?
It feels weird to ask, but honestly, of all the people I've ever been involved with, only one has ever agreed with me on this. I had a conversation with a guy I've been dating last night over this that ended with me crying. Everyone else seems to think that I am overthinking things to the extreme and need to chill out...do I?