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So What You Saying?
You’ve been dating for a couple of months and have decided to take your relationship to the next level…sex. If you can’t remember the last time you had sex or your ex was the only person or last person that you have been with sexually, honey, times have changed!
In today’s world, there are questions you need to ask BEFORE having sex and even though you may have had casual conversations about sex, there are several questions that you need to ask before you have sex and have a clear understanding of the answers, as well as supporting paperwork, if needed.
Here are a few of the initial questions that you and your Boo should be discussing:
This question should be discussed once you establish that you are really feeling this man and you both agree that you want to take your relationship to the next level. Note: If you are told that they have recently been tested, it doesn’t mean that they are clear. If they have had unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex, they could have been affected.
According to The CDC:
Most HIV tests are antibody tests that measure the antibodies your body makes against HIV. It can take some time for the immune system to produce enough antibodies for the antibody test to detect and this time period can vary from person to person. This time period is commonly referred to as the “window period”. Most people will develop detectable antibodies within 2 to 8 weeks (the average is 25 days). Even so, there is a chance that some individuals will take longer to develop detectable antibodies. Therefore, if the initial negative HIV test was conducted within the first 3 months after possible exposure, repeat testing should be considered >3 months after the exposure occurred to account for the possibility of a false-negative result. Ninety seven percent will develop antibodies in the first 3 months following the time of their infection. In very rare cases, it can take up to 6 months to develop antibodies to HIV.
This is very important because we are beyond the age when guys say, “I don’t like the way rubbers feel.” Condoms can make the difference between life and death and if a man is not willing to wear one, then you need to go your separate ways. If a man is not willing to wear a condom, it tells you a lot about who he is and he is not worth the risk.
Have you ever had a STD? Were you treated?
This is also a very important question. It tells you about a person’s sexual history and you need to know what you are getting yourself into. There are many STD’s that never go away, i.e. Herpes and you need to be aware of what’s going on with your partner.
Men, this is an important one. You need to have a discussion about birth control. Although the use of condoms is great, we all know that the can break and “get lost” sometimes. It’s always a good idea to talk about birth control and if a woman is not on it and you are exclusive, you may want to discuss a back up method of birth control.
I know some of you are clutching your pearls and uncomfortable it is to even ask this question, in 2013 it is necessary! There are a LOT of men who are on the down low and let me be clear, just because you ask the question and he denies it, ladies, please, be aware. Of course, a man who is on the down low, is not going to admit to it, but there are some signs that he may be on the down low…I will have to save that for another post. BUT men who have sex with other men adds additional risks and those risks are ones that you don’t want to be involved with.
Here are some stats about men who have sex with men from Act Against Aids:
Nearly 24,000 MSM (Men who have sex with men) are newly infected with HIV each year (CDC estimates that approximately 50,000 total people in the United States are newly infected with HIV each year).
MSM is the only risk group with increasing numbers of new HIV infections.
Young Black/African-American MSM, are most seriously affected by HIV.
Now fellas, it may be a fantasy of yours to be with a woman who likes other women, however, you need to be aware of how your girl gets down.
Again, this is important information to know. People who have used intravenous drugs and have shared needles, again put you at risks. HIV/AIDS can be transmitted through the sharing of needles when using intravenous drugs.
Besides asking the question about intravenous drug use, you can also pay attention to their arms and look for track marks.
I know all of this information has probably made many of you wonder if having sex is even worth all of these risks and perhaps has scared some of you into not having sex at all. Although it is a lot of “scary” information here, it is very important that you know your partner and have some real heart to heart conversations about your sexual histories.
Remember, although you are interested in taking things to the next level, you have to be aware and know that person that you may lay down with and when and if you do, be sure that you are fully aware and your mates sexual background…it could very well be a matter of life and death.
Photo Credit: bronzemagonline.com, bernardhealth.com, heartandsoul.com