Talking to your partner about getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) could be the most important conversation you ever have.
Apart from not having sex, nothing offers 100% protection against all sexually transmitted infections, so the best way to be totally safe is for both partners to get tested.
Even if you're with someone for a while and have sex together regularly, eventually a condom may burst, a dental dam may slip, or something may get spilt. If you're with someone for a long time, you might want to change contraception or protection methods, or you might want to start a family. If so, you should both get a test.
Starting a conversation about testing can be tricky. Here are a few things to keep in mind that should make things go easier:
If you have symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection, you should speak to someone about getting tested. If you're with a long-term partner, this could be embarrassing for both of you, but don't jump to any conclusions, many STIs can go undetected for years. Just because you have symptoms doesn't mean either of you has been unfaithful, but you do both need to get tested.
Find out more about common STI symptoms – try our Symptom-o-tron.
If you've had an affair and had an accident with a condom, or not practiced safer sex, you should get a test. Not only that, you need to tell your regular partner what's happened so they can get a test too.
We understand that this could spell the end of your relationship with them, but if they catch something nasty from you and it goes untreated, it could seriously damage their health and even shorten their life.