STDs and commiting to sex

I want to get tested for stds but I’m only 13 and idk what my mom will say or do about it. I really love my boyfriend but he's ready to commit to sex, but I don't think I am. What do I do?

Hey there. I’m so glad you wrote in.

First off, if you’ve said ‘yes’ before it doesn’t mean that you have to say ‘yes’ to doing it again or any other sexual activities every time. You have the right to say ‘no’ to anything at anytime, regardless of what you may have done in the past. The choice is yours each and every time.

If you’re not ready to commit to sex, it doesn’t mean that you love your boyfriend any less. It just means that you don’t want to right now. You get to decide when you are ready.

Talk to you boyfriend. It’s important to know what you are and are not okay with. Take some time to think about this before you talk to your boyfriend. For example, are you okay with kissing, but not okay with groping. You can tell him something like, “I really care about you and our relationship. I like being around you and spending time with you. For me to feel good, it’s important that you know that I’m okay with (insert), but I get uncomfortable with (insert).”

If your boyfriend is pressuring you to go further than you want to, tell him that you don’t’ feel uncomfortable and you want to stop. Think about what you’re okay with doing and where you draw the line. If he keeps pressuring you, that’s not cool and it may be time to consider ending the relationship. In relationships, people need to listen to each other, and you deserve to be heard and respected.

As for the STD testing, because you’re a minor, here’s a quick breakdown of STD testing laws:

  • All 50 states allow minors to consent to STD testing.
    • Although 11 states require that a minor be of a certain age (generally 12 or 14) before being allowed to consent.
  • 18 states say it’s OK for your physicians to tell your parents you were tested.
  • 31 states allow minors to consent to HIV testing and treatment.
    • Iowa must tell your parents if you have a positive HIV test.
    • Massachusetts must tell your parents if your health is at risk.

Click here to find out which States those are.

Talk to your mom. However, if you think you’re mom might get upset to the point of violence, or perhaps kicking you out of the house, consider talking to another trusted adult, like a nurse, teacher, or counselor. But if you think your mom might be upset for just a while, even if that means some sort-term consequences for you, then consider talking to her.

You can find tips for talking to your parents at I Wanna Know!. Talking to your mom can be good for a lot of reasons…like helping you to take care of your body and to make good decisions when it comes to sex…like using protection and waiting to have sex until you’re ready and mature enough to talk about using contraception.

FYI – Here’s How To Get Tested:

  • Call and make an appointment with your health center - you can find a testing center near you by checking out: Get Yourself Tested www.gytnow.org, enter your zip code and they’ll give you a list of clinics closest to you.
    • Or you can or text your zip code to GYTNOW (498669) on your mobile phone. * You will get a text message back with information about the nearest testing center to you.
  • Just So You Know – you can ask your health center about confidential STD testing and how much it will cost.It’s okay to ask questions like: will they call your home? Will they send you a bill or other information? It’s okay to ask questions. If you don’t use your parents’ health insurance (because they will get a statement saying what you were in for), you can ask about payment options. You can ask about free condoms, or low cost birth control too. And, if you live in Alaska, you can order a free, at-home test kit from IKnowMine.

I hope this helps and thank you for writing in. I’m proud of you for taking this step towards taking better care of yourself and your future.

Love,
Aunty Manda