Welcome to Ask the Sexpert! This blog series focuses on sex, sexuality, and relationships. Read on for BU Sexperts Sophie Godley and Dr. Teri Aronowitz’s honest, truthful answers to students’ scandalous questions.
The girl of my dreams recently agreed to be my girlfriend. I’ve always heard that you should get tested when you’re with someone new, but the last time my girlfriend had sex was a year ago! She doesn’t have any symptoms, so is it still necessary for her to get tested before we have sex?
Dear NEW LOVE,
Congratulations on your new relationship! What you have heard is right; getting tested before starting a new sexual relationship is an important way to take care of both you and your partner. It actually doesn’t matter that she hasn’t had symptoms or that it’s been a year. Unfortunately STIs like chlamydia and HPV can live in our bodies for a long time with no obvious symptoms. Getting tested can bring you peace of mind that you are both 1) physically healthy and ready to be sexual with one another without fear of disease, and 2) emotionally healthy and both taking the new relationship seriously enough to watch out for each other’s health. It won’t take long to get tested and (if needed) treated. In the meantime, do something fun in Boston together! Walk through Boston Common and smooch under the trees while you wait.
Sophie Godley is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. She has been working in the field of sexual health and adolescent health for over fifteen years. Sophie believes being sexually healthy is part of being a healthy human.
Want to get tested? Learn more on the BU Student Health Services website.
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