Imagine the web of people you have vicariously slept with through your other partners.
Imagine how it keeps extending, becoming more complicated and convoluted.
Imagine the moments when any of these lovers, out of passion, forgot protection.
Imagine the moments when they had their hearts broken by a partner that lied to them, or denied information, about sexual involvement with another person.
Imagine how long it would take for news of an STD somewhere in that web to reach you.
It take 5 minutes to get tested for HIV. 20 minutes to have a broad spectrum STD test. The majority of that time is spent waiting, filling out consent forms, or listening to the basic “we have to tell everyone this” stuff about test results and counseling. You wait 1-2 weeks for your results. You inform your partners. You get treated for anything you have (if anything).
STD testing is important for everyone regardless of race, gender identity, or sexual orientation. All forms of sexual contact can spread STDs. People involved with multiple partners increase their risk due to the development of this web of vicarious lovers. Especially in circumstances of non-penetrative sex contact where people normally don’t even think about protection.
If you don’t want to get testing done at the doctor’s office because you’re afraid of being judged/shamed, results being reported to insurance, or another personal reason, look into community testing resources in your area. Almost all are free, many provide the medications for treatment free or at a discounted cost, and you will not be judged. Almost all community testing resources are 100% confidential, except having to report numbers to Health Departments, and in some circumstance of particular STDs, report to your previous partners that they were exposed to someone with that STD. The reporting to previous partners often involves a phone call requesting they get themselves tested, and no name disclosure.
As a rule of thumb: Get tested prior to engaging in sexual activity with any new partner, and at minimum get tested once a year as part of a yearly health exam. Know what the warning signs of STDs look like. Know what they look like if your partners are affected.
Afraid of needles? The majority of STD tests are 98% accurate when non-needle, blood free, minimally invasive methods are used (urine sample, cervical swab, vaginal swab, cheek swab).
In order to prevent STDs, always use protection. If you think you’re going to be in a circumstance where it would be inconvenient to use protection and you have a vagina or anus that’s going to be used for sex, consider an internal condom (also known as a vaginal or “female” condom). These can be placed in the body cavity and left for up to 6-8 hours prior.
There have been recent reports of STD forms of bacterial necrotizing fasciitis infections in the San Francisco area of the United States, and new reports are popping up all over the country and world in previously unaffected areas.
Show your partners, your partners’ partners, and everyone in your life that you may have sexual contact with that you care about the health of yourself and those around you. Please, take the time to get tested and protect those around us that we love.
One of the easiest ways to show people we love them is to respect our health and their own.
If you need help acquiring information on STD testing, no matter where you are, send us a message. If you have any questions about protecting yourself and your partners, please ask - L works in a health care facility and provides education and counseling on STDs as well as having a history of healthcare training. P has bachelors degree in Public Health and can provide help as well. Sadly, we cannot provide medical advice beyond very basic educational information.
Love Infinite and Best Wishes for the Health of Everyone in Our Community,
Fuck Yeah Polyamory
I don’t need to imagine this. It happened to me. Please, get tested, as often as is sensible.