‘I am the partner of a sex addict, what STD tests do I need?
‘If he’s only watching porn, why do I need to be tested for STDs?’
My answer to the second question is…it’s almost never ‘just porn’. I speak from the experiences of tens of thousands of women who have posted on my websites, it’s rarely just porn. Don’t bet your life on it. Just do it.
And, most importantly, it is vital that you go to your own health care provider and not a clinic for your STD testing. Many partners feel embarrassed and seek the anonymity of a clinic, but that goes against your own health and safety. And, partners are worried that the HR department of their job or their husband’s place of work will find out about the tests.
Let me put your mind at ease and explain why you need to go to your family physician or gynecologist rather than an anonymous clinic.
First, your health and testing information is covered by very strict HIPPA regulations. If an HR department ever found out about your testing I would advise you getting an attorney, because you will own that company!
Second, it’s important that your personal physician has a complete picture of your health risks in order to treat you properly. If you do test positive for a STD you will. need treatment, sometimes ongoing for years or the rest of your life, so you need the medical support of someone who is familiar with your health history.
Yes, it may feel embarrassing to have to explain to your doctor why you need the testing, but remember…you have done nothing wrong. You are doing the mature and safe thing by getting tested. STD’s are no joke. Many have no symptoms and can lead to infertility, cervical or uterine cancers and lifelong symptoms requiring ongoing treatment.
Your health care provider is your best friend and you will be pleasantly surprised when they offer support.
In contrast, the clinic just might think you are some street floozy who thinks she has picked up some awful disease from one of her Johns. (okay, that’s a little extreme, but it has happened).
So, what to ask for?
Be sure to ask for a ’Full Panel’ of STD tests, which includes gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV, and be sure to explain that you just found out that your husband has been engaging in extremely risky sexual behaviors and you need to be tested for ’everything’ else.
You will also need a complete vaginal exam including Pap smear with swabs and visual exam for chlamydia, gonorrhea, Herpes and HPV (with DNA testing for HPV variants). You will also need a blood test for genital herpes (although that test is not always reliable), syphilis and for Hepatitis A B and C. Most health care providers will also do a urinalysis, which could show bacterial infections.
I know it’s difficult to have to endure the embarrassment and time consuming expense of a full panel STD testing and exam, but please do not ignore the need for it. Your very life depends on it.