Serious Question: Would You Demand Regular HIV Testing After Marriage?

October 8, 2013  |  

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HIV and STD testing are a no-brainer when it comes to casual hookups, partners you’re dating on a semi-regular basis, and even monogamous relationships, but an area that seems to get a little tricky — for some — is the idea of continuing these tests after marriage.

This past weekend, I attended the Blogalicious Five Conference in Atlanta, and in a relationships panel, Jacque Reid, Demetria Lucas, Telisha Ng, and OBGYN Dr. Tosha Rogers Jones, discussed the topic of safe sex, based around the new OraQuick at-home HIV testing kit. Once the discussion moved past the usual subjects of when to bring up testing, whether you should get tested together, and the awkwardness of trying this test at home, Dr. Jones spoke on how frequently couples should get tested and recommended partners doing so once every year — even after marriage. And that’s when the ball dropped.

From the women seated at my table alone, I heard remarks of disbelief as a few questioned, “after you’re married?” More than one woman gasped and a couple more added that their husbands would not go for that. To those reactions, Dr. Jones simply restated, “yes, after marriage.”

Not being married myself, I can’t say whether this would be a pleasant conversation to have with my non-existent husband, but what I do know is that this doesn’t sound like a bad idea — in fact it sounds like a damn good one. Over the course of a 10-, 20-, 30-, 40-plus year marriage, who’s to say someone won’t slip up? I’d much rather deal with the issue of infidelity when it’s not compounded by concerns over my sexual and reproductive health. There’s also the issue of some diseases just not showing up rapidly. Let’s say you meet, begin dating, get engaged to, and marry someone all in the course of six months to a year — when those initial test results come back negative, can you really be certain that there’s nothing else lurking under the surface that hasn’t shown up yet?

I get that walking down the aisle with someone and vowing to love, honor, and obey them all the days of your lives carries with it an expectation of unwavering trust, but I don’t think requiring annual STD and HIV testing has to be looked at as an, “I’m about to catch this mother f***er up if he’s been cheating on me” scenario — particularly if this is a routine you establish early on in your relationship. Two women at the conference — one engaged, the other married — shared that they get tested with their partners every year on World Aids Day as more of a social awareness thing, as opposed to a relationship checkup and that works well for them. That’s the approach I’d like to bring into my future relationship so that testing becomes a part of our annual doctor’s appointments like anything else — and at the same time if something does comes up funny, I know who I’m coming to with questions. JK!

For women who haven’t already established this testing routine, I can imagine their husbands hit them with the side-eye should they all of a sudden, a few years into their marriage, suggest annual testing. But like Demetria shared, just blame it on the doctor. Say, “Hey my doc told me we should be getting tested annually as a preventative measure and I agree with her, so let’s make it happ’n capp’n.” And like Jacque Reid pointed out, any man who is adamant about not wanting to get tested has something to hide. Therefore, his reluctance may be all the answer you need when it comes to the health of both your body and your relationship, know what I’m saying?

Again, as a non-married woman, I can’t speak on the delicacies of a union declared before God and how someone may get into their feelings when it comes to a sensitive subject like this. So, married ladies, tell me what you think about demanding STD and HIV testing after you jump the broom. Would you do it?

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  • dontmind

    We are both straight and monogamous, but we still do regular testing. We started having unprotected sex after we were married, so it’s just something that gives us a peace of mind.

  • ComeLetsTalk

    Heterosexual couples need to wake up. I hate that conversation about HIV always becomes some D/L or gay topic. STOP IT. You are the only responsible for YOUR sexual health. I was on another forum last year and was SHOCKED at the number of women who claimed they no longer got yearly STD testing because “they were in a committed relationship”…HUH??? What… Wake up. You get your teeth cleaned twice a year, why the hell wouldn’t you do the same for your private parts? People kill me.

  • WHOISBSQUARED?

    UM YEAH I WOULD, EVEN THOUGH IM NOT MARRIED, I AM CONCERNED ABOUT MY HEALTH…AND I MEAN COME ON, GOD ONLY BLESSED US WITH ONE VAG…..GOTTA USE IT WISELY LOL

  • Nope

    Most people don’t get tested before dropping their draws, so doing so after marriage is almost irrelevant.

  • FB

    My wife and I used to do it yearly. Now we have our 12 years old niece living with us, we do it as a family.

  • Kristen

    At the end of the day, YOUR health is YOUR responsibility. It doesn’t get any more real than that.

    I believe in good, wholesome, honest marriage based on love and God, but not everyone else does. And just because they say they do doesn’t mean that’s true.

    If you can’t talk to your spouse about getting tested without getting into an argument then you need to rethink things. You should be able to go get tested together FOR EACH OTHER. Not just for yourself. It may not be romantic but it proves that you care about your health as well as your spouse’s. Why not go out to eat a fancy dinner after you take the test and after you get the results back?? LOL. In reality, no one WANTS or looks forward to taking the test but if someone gets infected, you’re going to wish you stayed more on top of your health. “Shoulda coulda woulda” won’t cut it then.

    I also don’t know why anyone would want to stay ignorant of their own status. I get tested every summer and if the topic would ever come up I wouldn’t mind shouting from the rooftops that I’m clean lol.. and showing the papers/documents to prove it.

    The status of your partner’s sexual health should NOT be swept under the rug. Married couples talk about regular things like weight gain and diet, going to the dentist, etc. but no one wants to talk about sexual health? To me, the person that I can trust is the one who cares enough about his own sexual health to go regularly…and who would want me to go with him. The word “cheating” doesn’t even have to come up in the conversation.

    • clwa0303

      Exactly, very well said!!!

      • Kristen

        Thank you! I’m gonna pull a Dr. Phil and say, “Let’s get real!”

  • guest

    There have been several document cases of wives finding out they acquired the virus from their husbands. You can have the virus for years dormant and pass it on. Also, a cheating husband rarely comes back and says let’s use a condom for a minute, because I have strayed. They cross their fingers and hope they don’t get caught and spread something. Stop acting like marriage protects you from everything.

  • Marina Calis

    I think all married couples should receive HiV testing at least for the first few years or if there are signs of infidelity.I think asking your partner to HIV tested is ok…

  • Tonyoardee

    Its your health, you better get them annually with your physical.. dont be unaware just cause you dont think its cute to demand one

  • Candacey Doris

    With the things you see in the news this might just be a great idea.

  • Trisha_B

    If we are married, & we gotta take a yearly hiv test then we don’t need to be married. That clearly means one of us weren’t being faithful. So why be married?
    Married couples that are swingers, i understand this

    • MIMI

      HIV is not necessarily acquired from cheating alone even though that is the most common method of transmission there are others too, rogue dentist for example, someone with a hidden drug habit who shares needles, accidents etc

    • clwa0303

      Trust me that’s what the ALARMING number of hiv postive wives that I see on a weekly basis at the local clinic where I volunteer have thought. Unfortunately, getting married does not change a cheater.
      We would all like to think we know all our significant others move but realistically we don’t and never will. Many blessings to you:)

      • Trisha_B

        & that’s why i said why be married? People now-a-days take marriage as a joke. Just get married just to say they are married, but don’t want to act married. If you wanna step out & cheat, put my health at risk then we aren’t gonna be w/ each other. But i don’t want to treat my marriage as if it’s an accident waiting to happen. always thinking the worse. Who wants to be married to someone like that? I know you don’t always know your partners moves, & you hope your partner isn’t cheating. We live in sad times

    • bluekissess

      Taking marriage, ego and pride out of it. Wouldn’t you want to know about your health? HIV can be in your system for years before knowing. It could’ve been in your or his system before the “I do.”

      • Trisha_B

        Before saying “i do” all testing will be done. Just like it was done during the time we were dating & engaged. I understand couples who went from friends to dating to engaged to married all in 6 months, then yea testing should be done b/c you haven’t been together very long to know the health status, especially something that takes months to show up. But if i’ve been w/ my soon to be for some years, we BOTH are doing regular check-ups, then we should know about our health they day we say i do. That’s my take on it.

        • bluekissess

          All I was saying was that you can do your routine testing and the virus won’t get detected months or years later. For my personal sanity I would get tested. No matter if I were a friend or play cousin.

    • Courtney Banks

      There are other ways to get HIV besides sexual misconduct..

  • Laine

    Why not also keep on using a condom after marriage? Because regular testing doesn’t prevent you from getting an STD. It just tells you whether or not you have contracted something. A condom actually prevents you from getting something in case your partner messed up. I would be all for that….:-)

    • FB

      The moral of the story is that you trust your partner, but you will get tested and make it a yearly event. If your were to be innfected, no matter how detrimental it may be, you will know early and can seek treatment. Let’s not forget, there are other ways in which a man can contract the disease too. For example, I go to the barber and ask my barber to sanitize the razor. Bacause 80% of the time I get a hair cut, I end up with a small cut somewhere. The chances of the person before me has the disease is high given my location.

      • Laine

        You’re right. There are other ways to contract the disease that have nothing to do with cheating. But I would feel a lot better and safer with a condom…:-). But maybe I am not really able to trust and therefore not ready for a comitted relationship..:-(

        • FB

          If you were to look at all the things that could pottentially go wrong in a marriage, you will never be ready. After years of marriage, you may find yourself asking’Why did I get married?’ However, when the good times come, you will enjoy them.

  • KIR12

    If he’s BiSexual, you absolutely should demand a monthly HIV test. Black homosexuals are 2% of the black population but are the source of over 90% of new black HIV infections. Fact!
    Over 90% of HIV infections in the Black Community
    1. Black gay men infecting other (mostly young) Black gay men
    2. Black gay men infecting BLACK WOMEN.
    Needle sharing is also a problem but it’s minimal compared to HIV infections from Black homosexuals.

    U.S. Statistics – AIDS()gov 27% of new HIV black infections were heterosexuals. As a group, BLACK WOMEN accounted for 23% of the estimated new HIV infections. In other words, almost all of new heterosexual infections were BLACK WOMEN. For Link Go0gle
    aids()gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/statistics/

    • MIMI

      Why on earth would anyone KNOWINGLY marry a bisexual man?

      • KIR12

        Insecure, lonely and a lot of those men are good looking professionals, male strippers ect.

        • MIMI

          Oh ok makes sense now

          • MIMI

            but the moment I find out he is bisexual I am so “bolting” out the door ain’t nobody got time for that!

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      • Chas

        I think there are women that are into a certain lifestyle or are sexually flexible themselves and don’t have a problem with a mans sexuality. There’s all kinds of people in the world I don’t think that question has a clear cut answer.

      • dontmind

        The same reason that someone would knowingly marry a straight man, because they love said person and want to build a life with them. Being bisexual has nothing to do with your level of commitment. Just as straight men are still straight when they get married, but manage to stay faithful…it’s the same way with a bisexual man.

        • Say What?

          I do understand both point of views. I think Mimi and most women feel that if there’s a man that’s bisexual then there’s very little chance that he’ll stay faithful because there are clearly something they could only do with another man.

          • dontmind

            There is nothing that he can “only” do with another man. Not all bisexual men get, or even enjoy, being penetrated.

    • Say What?

      A lot of those black men infected are on the DL and engage in highly risky behaviour with other men on the DL.

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