If you're in a monogamous relationship and both you and your partner have been tested for STDs, a regular STD test is not always required. However, what happens when you start to notice symptoms? Could your partner be to blame? Do problems downstairs always mean he's cheating on you?
HIV and AIDS are largely symptomless in the early stages and therefore diagnosis usually takes place by undergoing a confidential HIV test. If you haven't noticed any symptoms then you probably won't be testing for AIDS straight off, but with a confidential HIV test included in the STD panel you may end up taking the test if you suspect that your partner's passed on something nasty to you. If this test comes back positive it may not be your partner who's to blame. HIV and AIDS can stay dormant in your system for six months to some years, so there is a chance that you caught this STD before settling into monogamy with your current partner. Of course, it's also likely that your partner gave it to you, so make sure that he/she also undergoes a confidential HIV test. A positive result for both or either of you can have a huge impact on your relationship, and talking to a relationship counsellor can help.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
If you've been with your partner for over four months and start to notice chlamydia or gonorrhea symptoms, then you're probably right to start worrying. Symptoms of chlamydia and gonorrhea generally start to show up from between one to four months after contracting the disease. So whilst an outbreak two months into a relationship can possibly be explained by indulging in unprotected sex a month or so before your relationship started, being diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea years into a relationship should always flag up a red card.
Unlike HIV which can only be diagnosed with a confidential HIV test, crabs can't really be missed and symptoms will start to show within a couple of days. However, before you point an accusatory finger at your partner, ask yourself a few questions first. Could either you or your partner have come into close contact with infected towels or bedding? Or has either of you recently borrowed clothing from someone who could have crabs? If the answer's no then you might need to sit down and have a chat with your partner. However, there's no need to fret as although crabs are easily caught, they're also easily treated and pose no serious threat to your health.
Like AIDS, herpes can stay dormant into your system for years without showing any symptoms. So should telltale spots appear whilst in a monogamous relationship it may not necessarily be your current partner who's to blame. Having said that, herpes generally does start to show symptoms around three months after infection.
Whether you've received a positive result on your confidential HIV test or spotted those tell-tale black insects crawling in your bedclothes, one thing that it's important to remember is that everyone's body and immune systems are different. So if you've noticed something askew downstairs don't convince yourself that your significant other is to blame. Sit down and tell them the facts, discussing the issue in a calm and rational way. Don't accuse them of cheating on you and, at the same time, explain to them that you haven't cheated on them and that the symptoms could have remained dormant in your system. Most importantly, ensure that you both undergo STD testing so that you receive the proper treatment for your condition.
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