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

By February 7, 2020 Voices of Change 4 Comments

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:


  • Anthony Felder says:

    Entering any sexual proximity with someone, there at least needs to be a conversation started about status. If one isn’t willing to oblige that may be a red flag of maturity and saftey!

  • Kenyon Spotts says:

    Whenever you get into a relationship I believe it’s necessary to have a sexual health conversation. It’s one of the hardest parts but I do feel like once you do it often it does get easier!

  • Rakesha Kelley says:

    Thank you for providing these helpful resources. If people aren’t willingy open to get tested, they shouldn’t be willing to have sex.. PERIOD!!

  • Nicholas Arosemena says:

    I think gaslighting or responding immaturely is indicative of a person who is insecure or lacks the emotional clarity to properly deal with the feelings of the anxiety that might get from being asked to be tested.

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