I want to get a STD test but…I am only 14. Can you help?

I want to get a STD test but I don’t know how to tell my mom. I am only 14. And I don’t think she will take it very well. Can you help?

Hey there. I’m so glad you wrote in. I am even more impressed that you are seeking help to get tested for an STD. Go you!

So, because you are 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. So you’re in the clear here.

18 states say it’s OK for your physicians to tell your parents you were tested, but they don’t have to (If you test positive for HIV in Iowa, they have to tell your parents). Click here to find out which states these are.

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.

So what do you need to do now?
1.Get support. Before you do anything check out the Planned Parenthood NationalHotline 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) available 24 hours a day, they can give you counseling on STD testing or other sexual health topics and help you understandyour states laws for testing a minor.

2.Talk to your mom. However, if you think your mom might get upset to the point of violence, or perhaps kicking you out of the house,consider calling talking to another trusted adult. But if you think your mom might be upset for just a while, then consider talking to her.

You can find tips for talking to your parents atPlanned Parenthood, or at I Wanna Know!

3.Call and make an appointment with your health center. Find a testing center near you by checking out: Get Yourself Tested, look under hotlines & resources,or you can text your zip code to GYTNOW (498669) on your mobile phone. * You will get a text message back with information about the nearest testing centerto you.

4.Just So You Know. You can ask your health center about confidential STD testing and how much it will cost. If you don’t use your parentshealth insurance (they could get a statement saying what you were in for), you can ask about payment options.

And, if you live in Alaska, you can order a free, at-home test kit from IKnowMine.

Because I want you to be safe and take care of yourself, I want you to know that just because you have had sex before, that doesn’t mean you can’t sayno to having to having sex again, especially if you’re in a relationship where you can’t yet talk about using contraception.

I’m proud of you for taking this step into taking better care of yourself and your future.

Auntie Manda

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