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Conversation Tips

At a glance

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 sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Graphic of two people on the phone.

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. This also helps 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. Consider getting tested together.

Healthcare Provider Conversation Tips

Find the Right Healthcare Provider

It's important to feel comfortable and heard, so take the time to find the right fit for you.

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 prepared you will be.

Consider Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT)

If you are concerned your partner has an infection, talk to your provider about EPT, which allows treatment without evaluation.

Want more tips?

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