I think my partner cheated. Should I be tested for STDs?
Diane Robinson is a gynecologist with Mercy Women's Health Care at Nazareth Hospital, Northeast Philadelphia.
A: If you think your partner has had oral, vaginal, or anal sex with another person, it's a good idea for you to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Getting tested can put your mind at ease or get you (and your partner) needed treatment.
Many people have sexually transmitted infections and never know it. Some common symptoms of STDs include sores on the genitals, discharge from the vagina, itching, and burning during urination. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis can be tested for in the urine and also with a vaginal culture. Blood work is needed to test for HIV, hepatitis, herpes, and syphilis.
If you are not in a monogamous relationship, unsure about your partner's fidelity, or changing partners often, get tested. All sexually active people, particularly those who have had multiple sex partners (gay or straight), should get tested for HIV. Even people in monogamous relationships should be tested and should know their partner's status.
Within a few weeks after infection with HIV, some people may develop temporary flulike symptoms or persistent swollen glands, but many people feel healthy for a decade or more. Unfortunately, HIV- infected people who look and feel perfectly healthy can still transmit the virus to others. The CDC recommends that all adults in the United States get tested for HIV infection at least once, regardless of risk factors for HIV infection.