When did you last get an STI check? Have you ever had one?
I’ve been getting mine on an annual basis for the last seven or so years. Generally that meant taking the easy route and getting tested when I saw my gynaecologist for my yearly check-up.
Over those last seven years I’ve had sexual interactions with approximately a dozen people, eight of whom have been (or become) longer-term partners. In all cases (bar the first threesome I ever had, when I was horny and dumb) I’ve practiced safer sex. And in all cases, when it came to a partnership that I wanted to be longer-term, I’ve made sure we’ve both been checked out.
I was last checked back in January of this year. And now, ten months later, there’s Hylas on my dance card. It’s been more than six months since my last check, and despite only having sexual interaction with one new person in that time (a metamour), who had also been checked, I felt more comfortable getting tested again.
That, and I wanted him tested, too – he’s never been checked out at all!
So I called the Auckland Sexual Health Service and made an appointment for us both to go in together. Aren’t I nice?
Having had my last 1/2 dozen tests through my gynaecologist, I’d forgotten just how many questions they have to ask you! We got to talk about my list of current partners, previous tests, my HPV, current medications, types of sex I’ve had/am having, whether any of my male partners sleep with other men … and deciding what tests/swabs/etc I want to have.
Ideally, I’d have liked to have been tested for HSV (herpes) and other HPV strains, but I quite understood when they explained that a) they only test for those if symptoms are presenting, and b) they have a number of false positives even then. They did do an examination of the genital skin, though, looking for warts.
As it was, I got tested for the following: HIV, syphilis and hepatitis (blood test), chlamydia, gonorrhoea, thrush, bacterial vaginosis and trichomonas (vaginal swabs), and an oral swab for gonorrhoea as well.
They had preliminary results for us by the time I’d had my bloods taken, but neither of us will have complete results for 7-10 days. After that? Well, after that, I have a sleep-over planned!
So. When did you last get checked out? When were your partners last checked? Do you practice safer sex?
Own your sexual health. And make the most of it!