Think for a second. Would any of the following fit you?
- Had unprotected sex lately (i.e. no condom)?
- Have unusual odors, pain, or bumps “down there”?
- Heard from your partner that someone they had slept with before has herpes/HPV/Chlamydia/gonorrhea/syphilis/HIV?
- Never been tested for STIs before?
- About to become sexually active with a new partner?
If you feel like one or more of these might be true for you, it’s time to get checked out! Testing is super easy; just pee in a cup, maybe get your finger poked or have a very small amount of blood drawn, or sometimes even an oral swab (like getting your gums rubbed with a Qtip). The results are sometimes available in ten minutes (for rapid HIV tests) or two weeks (for most of the others). They are free at your local teen clinic, and totally, 100%, definitely confidential. Like, your parents are NOT going to find out. Unless, of course, you tell them.
It feels good to be able to say to your partner, new or old, “Yep! I just got tested and everything was negative!” It feels great to tell yourself that! So when in doubt, get checked out at your local teen clinic. To find a clinic, or read up a little on STIs, check out teensource.org.