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Would Doctor Test Me In Private

Published: December 01, 2013
Dear TeenHealthFX,

I Have Had Sex Before (5Months Ago) And I Wasn't Bleeding After Wards Or During. And Now My Mothers Wants Me To Get Tested For Sexual Active And HIV And AIDS But I Don't Know What To Say. Would My Doctor Test Me In Private Or In front Of Her?


Dear Would Doctor Test Me In Private,

From your description, your mother’s main purpose is to see if you are sexually active (knowing your age would be a big help.) Most doctors don’t see their role as being the “sex police” for parents. However they are concerned about your well-being, including your sexual health. Most physicians know that they are less likely to get an accurate history of a young person’s sexual activity if the parent is present and usually conduct the interview in private. However, if your mother is determined to be present during the exam then it complicates the situation. In most states a doctor see a minor sexually related concern without parental consent. In your case your mother could withhold consent for treatment if she was not allowed to be present.

Here is where it becomes a problem. You go to see the doctor and report that you are not sexually active. In this case many doctors would reason that there is no clinical reason to test for sexually transmitted diseases. You leave the office but you miss an excellent opportunity to talk to your doctor about your sexual activity and what you need to be aware of. Since it was 5 months since you engaged in sexual activity we can assume pregnancy is not an issue. But was that by luck or because you took proper precautions which includes using a condom to protect yourself against Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s). If you have been sexually active and haven’t used a condom then the doctor may want to check for STD’s.

The best approach would be to have an open honest conversation with your mother. For many families sexuality is very closely associated with their moral and religious values. Your doctor can give you input but only from a medical perspective. If this is something that you don’t think you can do then it would be important that you be seen at a teen health center. TeenHealthFX never wants to undermine a parent’s role but we also feel it is extremely important that if you are sexually active that you have proper medical care. Being sexually active is a big responsibility. You may want to contemplate whether now is the right time for you.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health in Morristown 973-971-6475 or the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health in Summit at 908-522-5757 for an appointment. Outside this area contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood.

 

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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