How Can I Talk To A New Partner About STD Testing?

Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
My partner insists he doesn’t have an STI, but I would feel more comfortable if he was tested. When I brought it up, he said he felt like I didn’t trust him. What are some ways I can communicate that this is my policy for sexual partners and it is very important to me?
Getting tested with each new partner is SO important — and you’re pretty fantastic for taking care of your health and making that a priority.
Many people feel like they don’t need to get tested for STDs because they don’t show any symptoms. Real talk: Most people with STDs don’t show any symptoms at all (but they can still pass them to someone else). That’s why it’s pretty much impossible to know for sure whether you have an STD without getting tested.
It may help to make sure your partner knows that, but even more importantly, you should make sure he knows that many STDs can be cured, and generally even the ones that you can’t get rid of can be treated. A lot of couples have fulfilling sex lives while managing symptoms of STDs, and your partner may feel better knowing that even if one of you has an STD, it won’t mean the end of your relationship.
It could also be easier for him if you go together — you could even make a day of it! Brunch in the morning, STD test at your local Planned Parenthood in the afternoon, movie date that night?
It sounds like you’ve already made it clear that this is something that’s really important to you. Remind your partner that it has nothing to do with trust; it’s a non-negotiable rule with every new partner. If he still can’t respect your health, then you may need to have a bigger conversation about whether this relationship is worth risking your well-being.

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