Conversation Tips

How to Start the Conversation with Your Healthcare Provider and Partner(s)

Honest and open conversations, both with your provider and sexual partner(s), are an important part of keeping yourself and your partner(s) safe from infection.

Partner(s) Conversation Tips:

Don’t Avoid the Conversation

Talk with your partner(s) BEFORE having sex so you can both make informed choices about your sexual health.

Be Open and Honest

Be clear with your partner about the number of sexual partners you have.

Be Understanding

Being respectful and nonjudgmental can create the space for a more productive conversation, and if you want, lay the groundwork to keep those conversations going.

Let Them Know

Tell your partner if you have an STI, even if you’re currently taking medicine to treat those infections.

Ask When They Were Last Tested

Find out when they were last tested for STIs. You could consider getting tested together.

Get your Conversation Badge

Add the new Conversation Badge to your dating profile to signal that sexual health matters to you.

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Healthcare Provider Conversation Tips:

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Find the Right Healthcare Provider

It’s important to feel comfortable and heard, so take the time to find the right fit for youexternal icon.

Ask to Get Tested for STIs

The sooner you are treated for an STI, the less chance an infection will impact other parts of your health.

Be Open and Honest

Knowing your sexual history and any symptoms you have will help your provider to provide the best possible treatment.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

The more aware you are of how to prevent infections, the better preparedexternal icon you will be.

Consider Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT)

If you are concerned your partner has an infection, talk to your provider about EPT, allowing them to receive treatment without evaluation.

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Want more tips?

See the National Coalition for Sexual Health’s guidanceexternal icon on questions you can ask your healthcare provider and what a provider is likely to ask you. Tips and conversation startersexternal icon for different scenarios with partner(s) are also available (see “Talk about safer sex” section).