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Questions About Safer Oral Sex and Confidential STI Testing

Published: December 20, 2016
Dear TeenHealthFX,
If two STI-free people are in a relationship and both are only sexually active with each other, is it safe to have unprotected oral sex? Also, how can you get tested for STIs without your parents knowing? I know it's confidential because I'm 17 but they will ask why I have a doctors appointment. Thanks
Signed: Questions About Safer Oral Sex and Confidential STI Testing

Dear Questions About Safer Oral Sex and Confidential STI Testing,

Safer Oral Sex 

According to Planned Parenthood:

When it comes to HIV, oral sex is safer than vaginal or anal intercourse. But other infections, like herpes, syphilis, hepatitis B, gonorrhea, and HPV can be passed by oral sex. Use condoms or Sheer Glyde dams to make oral sex safer.

Planned Parenthood also points out that:

One way to have safer sex is to only have one partner who has no sexually transmitted infections, and no other partners than you. But this isn’t always the safest kind of sex. That’s because most people don’t know when they have infections. So they can spread STDs without knowing it. And not everyone is honest about their STD status, either. That is why it’s a good idea to get tested for STDs regularly. It’s even better to go with your partner and get tested together, so you know each other’s status.

Essentially TeenHealthFX wants you to understand that as far as the transmission of STIs, it will be safer for two people to be tested regularly and in a monogamous relationship – but to know that there is no 100% guarantee transmission will not occur. Since it sounds like you will be meeting with a medical health professional soon about getting tested, it would be best to discuss this with him/her.

Confidential STI Testing 

As for your question about confidential testing, check out the TeensHealth answer to How Do I Get Checked for STDs Without My Parents Knowing?  For more information on STDs, you can also check out the CDC Fact Sheet: Information for Teens and Young Adults: Staying Healthy and Preventing STDs, which includes information on where to get tested confidentially.

If after reading these articles you have any further questions about anything related to your sexual health, feel free to write back to TeenHealthFX or to discuss with your doctor or school nurse. If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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