You can’t assume that you, or your health care provider for that matter, would know if you had an STD as most often there are no symptoms. That’s right,you can’t tell just by “looking.” So don’t wait for your health care provider to talk to you about getting tested. Take charge and ask to be tested. Here are some tips to help you get started…
Make an Appointment. When you make your appointment, be sure to say that you want to get tested for STDs.
Before the Appointment. We R Native has all kinds of info on STDs. Think through any questions you might have, write them down, and bring the list with you.
Day of Your Appointment. Show up. It really is half the battle. Bring along your friend, sister, or bf/gf with you if you feel nervous. Some doctors offices and clinics ask you to fill out a form about any health issues or concerns. Take advantage of this and write down any questions about STD testing.
Just Ask. You may feel a little nervous or embarrassed to ask to be tested. That’s okay, a lot of people do. You can say that…
- You’ve heard that people your age are supposed to be tested regularly for STDs. It is something you want to do for your health. See how easy that was?
- Or maybe try this: A friend of yours was recently tested, and you want to know if it’s something you should do as well. Done!
Be Honest. As part of your exam you might be asked what seem like a lot of very personal questions about your sex life. While often uncomfortable, this is totally normal and meant to help you stay healthy. The best way they can do that is if you answer truthfully about your sex history.
What If I Have Something? If you do have an STD, remember that ALL STDs, including HIV, are treatable and many are curable. Talk to your health care provider about your treatment plan. For more information about STDs and STD testing, including what you can expect and how to talk to your partner about it, go to GYTNOW.org.
Acknowledgements:This fact sheet was adapted from ItsYourSexLife.com, a website that provides education about sexual health.