By Chocolate Vent
In my 30+ years of living no man has ever asked me whether or not I have been tested for a sexually transmitted disease (STD), let alone if I actually have one. Can you believe that? I mean it’s not like I’ve had sex with a bunch of different men or anything, but why is it that no one has cared enough to ask?
I have to admit I feel some kinda way if a man doesn’t ask me for my “papers.” Who wouldn’t be concerned for their own health? I know I am disease-free, but they don’t know that. Why should a man take my word for it – because I “look clean?” Even when I take the initiative to ask a man about his STD status, he still doesn’t ask about mine. And it’s one thing to ask someone if they’ve been tested, but why not get proof? With the latest technology at our fingertips, it is so easy to show anyone your medical history almost instantly. Even Kaiser has an app that sends test results directly to your phone, so there is NO excuse why you can’t prove that you’re STD free.
So what does it take for a man to actually care about his health?! I took it upon myself to ask a few of my guy friends whether or not they’ve ever asked a woman for her STD results and if no, why not. Here are some of their reasons:
1) “I don’t really want to know” – Who wants to hear bad news? Probably not the best conversation to have right before having sex, I know. If someone you really like (or at least you like them well enough to sleep with them) is infected & they do tell you, that would just kill the mood. But like the old saying goes, “What you don’t know, can kill you.”
2) “I assume she’s clean because she made me wait” – Why else would a woman make you wait for sex unless she was clean? People who are already infected don’t do that, do they? Well, just because someone makes you wait for it doesn’t mean that they’re clean. For all you know they could be waiting for their herpes outbreak to clear up. Besides, it’s never safe to ‘assume’ anything, now is it?
3) “I’m already protecting myself” – If a guy is already wearing a condom, he may think that he’s protecting himself against any disease a woman may have. This couldn’t be further from the truth. For one, there are always bodily fluids that can be spread from a women’s vagina down to any exposed area on a man’s body. Not to mention, herpes can be transmitted through skin to skin contact. Sorry guys but condoms don’t protect you from everything.
4) “I don’t really care” – I actually had a guy tell me that he would take whatever disease I had as long as it could be cured with a shot or a pill. He said other than HIV or AIDS, he could handle any other STD. He actually said this to me. Can you believe it? Well, if he didn’t care whether or not I had a disease, he probably felt the same way about other women he’s slept with. No thanks; next!
5) “Wouldn’t you be offended if I ask you?” – Who cares if I am?! Seriously if a woman is offended by you asking if she’s been tested & to see a copy of those test results you probably shouldn’t be sleeping with her in the first place. I mean, how dare you try to protect your own health?!
6) “I’m just happy to be getting some” – This seemed to be the most common response from my informal survey. At the end of the day most men are just trying to get some so the thought of STDs either completely kills the mood or sometimes may not even cross their minds. I don’t get it – Is sex that hard to come by that you would put your own health at risk just to get some? Nobody (guy or girl) should be that desperate to have sex that they are irresponsible with their own well-being.
The rates for STDs, particularly among African Americans, are staggering. According to the CDC, in 2012, the overall rate among African Americans with chlamydia was 1,229.4 cases per 100,000 people. Also, 63% of all reported gonorrhea cases & 39.7% of all syphilis cases were African Americans. Not to mention, we are the most affected by HIV, representing over 40% of all new infections. At some point in our lifetime an estimated 1 in 16 African American men and 1 in 32 African American women will be diagnosed with an HIV infection. That’s pretty scary! With these tragic statistics, why would you not shield yourself from something that can be easily prevented?
Men don’t be afraid to ask for a woman’s test results. I’m sure women will respect you even more for prioritizing your health as well as theirs. After all, she may not even know she has an STD. And ladies, if you’ve never been asked before then don’t be afraid to offer. The best ways to reduce your risk of catching an STD are: 1) Practicing abstinence, 2) Using condoms (female or male) and 3) Vaccinating yourself against the spread of any disease. Good health should be your priority, not good sex.
What do you think? Ladies, don’t you think a man should make sure you’re disease-free before trying to sleep with you? Men, have you ever considered asking for proof that a woman is clean before sleeping with her? And more importantly, will you do it going forward?
*For more information on STDs:
Division of STD Prevention – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention