Written on February 22, 2023 by Gillian (Gigi) Singer, MPH, Sexuality Educator & Certified Sexologist. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are very common and affect millions of people every year. When one partner tests positive for an STD, it’s natural and understandable to wonder if the other partner would also have it.
So, if one partner tests positive for an STD, yes, the other partner should be tested as well.
The answer to this question depends on several variables.
If you and your partner(s) consistently and correctly use barrier methods of protection (internal condoms, external condoms, or dental dams) during every sexual encounter, you may not have contracted their active STD.
However, even barrier methods like internal condoms, external condoms, or dental dams are not 100% effective at preventing all STDS as they may not cover the entire surface area of the groin, thus leaving the skin exposed. Other parasitic infections, like pubic lice (aka “crabs”) live in pubic hair, which is still exposed.
If you do not use barrier methods of protection during ALL forms of sexual contact, including oral, anal, and vaginal, you are at a much higher risk of contracting your partner’s active STD.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) .
STIs and STDs are common health concerns everywhere in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over one million STIs are acquired every day worldwide . Below are a few statistics about the prevalence of different STIs around in the world:
There are many reasons why you should be consistently testing according to medical guidelines and your healthcare provider’s recommendation. In the case of a partner testing positive, you are at a high risk of also having an active STD/STI, especially if you aren’t consistently and correctly using barrier methods and other safer sex practices. Below are some of the reasons that you should get tested:
STI and STD testing can feel intimidating and even embarrassing, but Everlywell removes some of the burden by allowing you to get tested from home. Everlywell’s comprehensive STD tests will test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Additionally, Everlywell offers individual tests for HIV, trichomoniasis, hepatitis C, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Still not sure if you should get tested? Check out Everlywell’s guide to testing for STDs and take the “Should I Get STD Tested?” quiz.
If you have concerns about your sexual health or think you have an STD/STI, consult with a healthcare provider through the online STD treatment option via Everlywell's Virtual Care Visits. Virtual Care Visits are covered by many insurance providers and can provide you with prescriptions when appropriate.