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The two most common strains are oral herpes (HSV-1) and genital herpes (HSV-2).Confusingly, either strain can appear in either place.
If, for example, you've fooled around in your underwear with your boyfriend but never had vaginal, oral, or anal sex, you might get tested for herpes and HPV (which can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact), but not necessarily for gonorrhea.Cold sores on your mouth are often treated like NBD, whereas cold sores down below carry more of a stigma.But actually, by adulthood, more than half of people have had a cold sore, and about a fifth of people have gotten genital herpes.Try this script: "Before we go any further, let's talk. The risk of passing it on is low, especially if we use a condom, but I just want to let you know." It's the same way you'd give your friend a heads up about sipping from your water bottle if you just had strep throat.Your partner might want to ask questions or research it on their own — that's OK. Googling symptoms is just going to make you feel panicked and crazy — the only way to know what's up for sure is to get a real test.You can't tell if a person has an STD just by looking at them — even if their junk looks perfectly normal. The first time you have this kind of chat, it can be awkward, but it's no less awkward than actually getting naked and having sex for the first time. We hate to say it, but there's always a tiny sliver of a chance that your partner isn't being honest about being exclusive (or isn't being honest about their last test results).
(Some people have STDs and literally never have any symptoms, but they can still pass them along to a partner.) Ask if they've ever been tested, and if so, when their most recent test was. Dudes often don't have any symptoms, so even guys who are faithful could unknowingly pass on something they caught before they met you. People ages 15 to 24 account for half of all new STDs every year, even though that's only a quarter of the population.
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If you're in college, drop by your campus health center for a free test.
It might be awk, but it's important to have an honest convo with your doctor about your sexual history so they can recommend what tests you need.
But having an STD is no different than anything else you'd go to the doctor for. There's a medication you can take during an outbreak to help it clear up (the brand name version is called Valtrex).