The Real Talk AUC: “Let’s Get Tested Before Sex” by Kayla Howard, Spelman College

In Honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to continuing the work of Evelyn Lowery, an educator and social justice leader. This is a blog in the Sexual Health Q & A Series

“I want to ask my girlfriend/boyfriend/partner to get tested before we have sex, but I do not know how, what should I do?”

You are not alone. Many people find themselves feeling awkward when having conversations about sex, but it is an important habit to start. Once you start, it gets easier with time and once you know both you and your partner’s statuses, it will make the experience better. Planned Parenthood has a lot of useful articles online about how to start some of this dialogue with your partner. Here are some ideas below:

● “This is hard for me to talk about, but I care about you and I think it’s important. How do you feel about going to get tested for STDs together? FYI, I got tested for STDs last month and I didn’t have anything.”

● “Have you ever been tested? I want us to make sure we’re taking care of each other.”

Starting these conversation can also tell you a lot about your partner. Ideally, they would respond positively, and agree that getting tested regularly is an important part of a sexual relationship. However, this is not always the case. A few years ago, a close friend of mine told me about a time she wanted to asked her boyfriend to get tested and he got upset. He began to ask her if she was being unfaithful and if he should be concerned. Gaslighting is not normal, nor is it healthy in any type of relationship. Remember that your health and comfortability is what is most important. With some additional tips and tricks, starting an open dialogue with your partner will be easier than ever.

For more articles please use the links below:

How to talk about getting tested:

How to talk about sex:

Spelman College Health Services:

You can also use the link below to find other testing sites near campus:

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