Know Your Status

Week of:
Apr 21, 2017

Privacy and STI testing — Who will know my results?

Dear Alice,

I have been thinking about getting tested for STIs for a while now but have been concerned with medical privacy policy. From the research I have done, I have not been able to find if I tested positive for an STI would I be referred to in name as a 'risk to public safety' or simply as a statistic. I know that this will be placed in my medical records and documented for the rest of my life. Will I have a label attached to my name for the rest of my life? Who will be notified if I do test positive for something like syphilis or herpes?

Thanks a lot,

— Nervous

How to ask your honey if they have any infections

Dear Alice,

I really enjoy reading your answers on these pages, but here's the question that I haven't seen addressed on your web pages or anywhere else on the Internet. Can you please suggest some appropriate ways to ask a person with whom you're about to have sex if he or she has any sexually transmitted diseases? A few months ago, I met a girl with whom I had sex... and, as I found out later, she had herpes. We did use condoms anyway, but there was still some risk in catching herpes since we didn't use condoms all the time.

Signed,
Getting smarter