So have you and your gay partner decided to have sex?
Then this is the most appropriate time to talk about your STD status.
Everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender or age is at the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other STDs.
However, research shows that bisexual and gay men report more case of new diagnoses in the US.
While there is no easier way to discuss the topic on HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, the best practice is to disclose or share information with your partner during the early stages of your relationship and especially before having any sexual encounter.
Regardless of whether we are negative or positive, we owe our partners the STD-talk.
More importantly, we have a responsibility to protect our health and that of our partners throughout the relationship.
Are you having trouble bringing out the topic?
Below is a simple suggestion on how to go about it.
1. Carry out intensive research
Specialists suggest that it is much easier to talk to your partner about the STD topic once you have sufficient information regarding the issue.
The in-depth knowledge helps to boost your confidence and also prepare you to answer any questions being raised by your partner.
Ideally, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help you comprehend the topic better.
2. Time is of the essence
The truth is, most of us are not patient to form a stable relationship before having sex.
Nowadays sex can precede real intimacy hence the need to talk about STD before anything gets unzipped.
Face the ghosts of your sexual past and come clean about your STD status.
Know your partner’s opinion concerning the use of condoms, prep or other STD-preventative mechanisms.
3. Go for testing
Any effective STD-conversation begins with you getting tested.
Remember it’s normal for your partner to get defensive once you raise the question for fear of judgment or ignorance regarding their STD history.
Some STD infections are characterized by the absence of any symptoms so it would be hard for you or your partner to be sure of your STD status.
That is why regular and frequent testing is highly advised for any gay couple.
CDC recommends that gay couples should get tested for STD infections at least once a year.
4. Start the conversation
You need to trigger the conversation first by sharing your information.
Some partners find it a little awkward at first, but they will be more comfortable if you strike the conversation.
Again through sharing your story first, you help to make it less of an interrogation or interview and more of a casual conversation that they can readily contribute.
To avoid any resentment, you need to appreciate the fact that both of you had previous relationships.
And since STDs are not always symptomatic in men, the only way to be sure of your statuses is by sharing your medical history.
Pick a convenient place where you are unlikely to be disturbed, interrupted or less likely to get involved sexually.
Be direct as possible in your conversations.
You cannot always assume that your partner will understand your indirect hints.
Remember, if you are intimate enough to engage sexually with your partner, then you are also intimate enough to share information about your STD status.
This will help both of you to be clear of any doubts and also enable you to gauge where you will play on the safer-sex spectrum.