U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

STD Testing: Conversation starters

STD Testing: Conversation starters

It might be hard to talk to your partner about getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but it’s important. Chances are your partner will be glad you brought it up.

Talk before you have sex.

  • “Getting tested before we have sex will help protect both of us.”
  • “Many people who have an STD don't know it. Why take a chance when we can know for sure?”

There are other things you may want to talk to your partner about, such as:

  • Sexual history – the number of partners you’ve had and what kind of protection you used
  • Risk factors – like whether you’ve had sex without a condom or used drugs with needles

Share the facts.

  • “STDs that are found and treated early are less likely to cause long-term problems.”
  • “Getting tested is easy. Doctors can test urine (pee) for chlamydia and gonorrhea, some of the most common STDs. And some HIV tests can give results in 20 minutes. You may not even have to give blood.”
  • "If you don't feel comfortable talking about STDs with your regular doctor, you can get tested at a clinic instead." 

Show that you care.

  • “I really care about you. I want to make sure we are both healthy.”
  • “I've been tested for STDs, including HIV. Are you willing to do the same?”
  • “Let’s get tested together.”

Agree to stay safe.

  • “If we’re going to have sex, using condoms is the best way to protect us from STDs. Let’s use condoms every time we have sex.”
  • “We can enjoy sex more if we know it’s safe.”

For more information about STD testing and prevention: