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My Girlfriend Has an STI. Did She Cheat?

Published: January 17, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
My girlfriend has an sti, but we don't have sex. Is it likely that she cheated?
Signed: My Girlfriend Has an STI. Did She Cheat?

Dear My Girlfriend Has an STI. Did She Cheat?,

If your girlfriend has an STI, but you and she never had sex then there are two possibilities:

One possibility is that she was sexually active with another individually while in a relationship with you. Although she did not necessarily have to have intercourse to transmit an STI, as some STIs can be transmitted through oral sex.

The second possibility is that your girlfriend was sexually active with another individual prior to being in a relationship with you. Again, this does not necessarily mean she had vaginal intercourse, as STIs can spread through other means of physical contact. Sometimes STI symptoms lay dormant, meaning that the symptoms do not appear until months (or even years) later depending on the STI. People may not know they have an STI because they could be carrying one while being totally asymptomatic (meaning there are no signs or symptoms). So your girlfriend could have transmitted an STI prior to being with you, been asymptomatic while the STI lay dormant for some time, and then became symptomatic during her relationship with you.

What FX suggests is the following:

  • If she hasn’t already, your girlfriend should meet with a medical health professional to find out what treatments are available for the STI that she has. She should also find out the specific risks of passing the STI onto others so she can take the necessary precautions to prevent that.
  • It is important that you become educated about the specific STI that your girlfriend has so you can ensure you protect yourself from transmission. You can learn about various STIs through Planned Parenthood. You should also speak to your primary care physician about it.
  • If your girlfriend is telling you that she transmitted the STI prior to being in a relationship with you and you feel you cannot trust this, FX suggests you reflect on why you are having trouble trusting her. Is there something your girlfriend has said or done that makes you feel you cannot trust her? Do you generally have trouble trusting other people, especially trusting that they will be honest with you and caring towards you? Is the relationship very new and because of its newness a deep level of trust has simply not been established yet? How you go forward in dealing with this issue may depend on the specific reason why the trust issue is there for you.

 

If you continue to have concerns about this situation, FX suggests you check in with a trusted adult so you can get the guidance and support you need as you go forward. You could speak to a parent, school nurse, school counselor or your own doctor. 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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