Dear Sex Doc,
Do I need to get checked for STIís if I am in a committed relationship?
Dear Check Up,
Yes, both you and your partner should get tested every 6 months to a year. Many people have STIs without knowing they have one. The reason is that many STIs are asymptomatic. That is, the individual has no signs or symptoms that they have the STI. This is especially common with gonorrhea and chlamydia. Eighty to ninety percent of women and 40% to 50% of men have no signs or symptoms of gonorrhea and/or chlamydia. Because many STIs are asymptomatic you should get tested before entering a new sexual relationship.
The reason experts tell people to get tested every 6 months to a year even if they are in a committed relationship is because many people cheat on their partners. In fact, studies show that 22% of men and 11% of women have sex outside of their relationship. Because of this, experts say that you should get tested for STIs regularly and always use condoms and dental dams to protect yourself.
Dr. Brian Parker
This article was published on Saturday 10 May, 2008.