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  #1    
Old June 19th, 2013 (02:53 PM).
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1) Should one consenting adult infect another during sexual intimacy, is the adult who becomes infected personally responsible for lack of judgement (not having partner tested), or is the infecting partner responsible and reprehensible for infecting a partner, whether or not he/she was aware of the ailment? What legal repercussions should there be, and under which circumstances?

2) Do you believe that the average person believes it is reasonable to have any potential sexual partner submit STI tests prior to physical intimacy? If not, should this be the norm? Is the public generally too trusting in their sexual partners, or feel invulnerable to risk with the use of a condom? Or, rather, are they afraid to request information out of rejection and insulting potential partners? (This is regarding the United States, but please feel free to let everyone know how other populations would perceive this dilemma.)

3) Given the subject of sexual partners and STI testing, do you think the current health and sexual education of our youth adequately addresses these questions? Which ways can the education system improve the dialogue on this matter?

Be free to expand upon these questions, especially if there was any unintended biases.

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Old June 19th, 2013 (06:28 PM).
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I think it would be pretty hard to prove that somebody "didn't know" they carried or spread an STI, and that happened to a couple. (I had no idea, I swear!)

The person getting infected is clearly exhibiting poor judgement, but the person doing the infecting could, and perhaps should be held accountable via a charge of reckless endangerment or something similar, but I think it depends on the STI. HIV/AIDS is obviously a much bigger deal than Chlamydia or Gonorrhea. If you run around infecting people with HIV/AIDS then you are a public health risk and that would warrant charges in my book. But not for say, herpes or the aforementioned STI's.

Secondly, if you can't trust your partner for a truthful answer, then you probably shouldn't be having sex with them in the first place, simple as that. I don't think the average person would think that as a 'norm', as good of an idea as that may be.

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Is the public generally too trusting in their sexual partners, or feel invulnerable to risk with the use of a condom? Or, rather, are they afraid to request information out of rejection and insulting potential partners?
Yes.

Thirdly, we need to move away from abstinence only education and realize that proper, realistic sexual education is the logical way to go, even though it might be a little controversial to some, but would you rather have a few debates at a PTA or more knocked up, low-income teenagers burdening an already strained system?
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Old June 20th, 2013 (09:15 AM).
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You have to take responsibility for your own sexual health. It shouldn't have to be that way, but it's how things are. There's no benefit to being infected with anything, whatever kind of compensation you might get from someone who infected you. People can be awful, thoughtless, cruel, and hurt you, but it's not easy to make them take responsibility for things and even if the laws were better it would still be hard to prove a specific person infected you - and that doesn't even go into the fact that you'd have people going through your sexual history to try to disprove your claim. It's better never to get into a place where you have to blame anyone for anything.

I don't know what "normal" or "average" people think about STI testing, but everyone should do it. It's just not worth the risk of not doing it.
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Old June 20th, 2013 (09:53 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Scarf:
You have to take responsibility for your own sexual health. It shouldn't have to be that way, but it's how things are. There's no benefit to being infected with anything, whatever kind of compensation you might get from someone who infected you. People can be awful, thoughtless, cruel, and hurt you, but it's not easy to make them take responsibility for things and even if the laws were better it would still be hard to prove a specific person infected you - and that doesn't even go into the fact that you'd have people going through your sexual history to try to disprove your claim. It's better never to get into a place where you have to blame anyone for anything.

I don't know what "normal" or "average" people think about STI testing, but everyone should do it. It's just not worth the risk of not doing it.
Agreeing here entirely, but I want to add some things.
Even if someone says they are clean, you really don't know if they're telling the truth, and you don't know when the last time it was that they actually took a test. And remember, STIs can certainly be passed through oral, too. Some STIs are undetected (Chlamydia, etc.)

As I said in the other Sex thread in Chit Chat and Polls, it is difficult to test men for HPV, so they don't. That means, if an STI test comes back that says your man is clean, he might not actually be clean! I didn't actually know this until my doctor told me when he asked if I wanted my HPV vaccinations. It was crazy surprising!
That means you can contract strings of HPV that lead to cancer and also WARTS. Yes, they lead to warts too. And it's not so uncommon! My mom's friend has cervical cancer from it, so it is a scary thing.
It is unfortunate though, that if you missed the mandatory vaccination boat (the 90s kids didn't get it but they are starting to vaccinate 12 year olds in school) you have to dish out around $500 on average for all 3 shots.
I agree with Livewire that abstinence should be addressed but not made a clear point. I think we need to focus on what steps you can take if you are sexually active to avoid an STI, and what the STIs are all about and the treatment available for them. Birth control should also be addressed. There are so many different things that men AND women should be informed.

You should care more about your health than rejecting a 1-night stand. Better safe than sorry IMO.
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Old July 1st, 2013 (02:23 PM).
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I personally do not afford anyone the benefit of a doubt when contemplating whether they are being upfront about their sexual history and health. My friends and potential suitors call me prude, but in actuality, I am being vigilant. I am the only person I know of that insists that myself and potential partner get tested prior to sexual activity. And, I think it is only fair that I go as well to be equitable and show that I can reciprocate reassurance.

The issue is that people seem to be extremely vexed and offended that I would question whether or not someone is "disease-free" as they may proclaim. That to me, being the cynic I am, is a red flag in of itself! I wonder if I am too stringent, I just find it odd that few people would consider my actions to be within reason.

My health > Offending a Date

The idea that we should be able to trust someone is an overly optimistic approach, and can have detrimental consequences. I agree with the point Kura made, often people are ingenuous when they claim they are disease-free, yet 1/5 to 1/4 of people with HIV are not aware of the infection in their bodies. This statistic alone should make those contemplating sexual activity think twice before engaging intimately. For gay/bi men especially, I don't understand why someone would place themselves at risk!

With that, I agree with Scarf, that we must take personal responsibility for our own sexual health. Though, it could be proved that someone intentionally infect another person, though this is rare and should be treated as a criminal act.

Agreeing also with Livewire concerning education. There needs to more attention on non-abstinence and even contraceptives. Women taking birth control and same-sex sexual partners underestimate the use of certain safe sex measures given the stress about prevention of teen pregnancy.
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Old July 2nd, 2013 (08:59 AM).
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Just want to throw in that no one should feel ashamed or embarrassed for getting tested or for asking someone to get tested. You are totally right and should feel good about yourself for being responsible. You or your potential partner might have something you don't know about that you wouldn't want to pass on to someone else and you'll want to get treated for as soon as possible. So, really, when you ask someone to get tested, and get tested yourself, you're doing it for them as much as for yourself.
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Old July 2nd, 2013 (04:36 PM).
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It really does depend on how the subject is approached. For instance, one way to do it is to inform your potential partner that you wish to get tested prior to engaging in sexual activity because of your respect for your partner and because you wish your partner to know that you are a responsible individual.
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Old July 4th, 2013 (09:28 AM).
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Should one consenting adult infect another during sexual intimacy, is the adult who becomes infected personally responsible for lack of judgement (not having partner tested), or is the infecting partner responsible and reprehensible for infecting a partner, whether or not he/she was aware of the ailment? What legal repercussions should there be, and under which circumstances?
I think you meant the consent to be on the other person to how you've worded, in either case I believe people should get themselves tested regardless of sexual activity and it should be something to talk about before. I definitely believe that if you have something and you know you have it, you should let your partner know. I mean you could be ruining lives here.

Do you believe that the average person believes it is reasonable to have any potential sexual partner submit STI tests prior to physical intimacy? If not, should this be the norm? Is the public generally too trusting in their sexual partners, or feel invulnerable to risk with the use of a condom? Or, rather, are they afraid to request information out of rejection and insulting potential partners?
I think it's reasonable to assume the average person thinks it's reasonable. I think it's more of an ignorance thing, more something that nobody wants to think about in the worst case scenario. Nobody is willing to ask or wait because sometimes especially one-nighters are spur of the moment and waiting a few days for results or that doctors appointment kind of ruins the romance.

Given the subject of sexual partners and STI testing, do you think the current health and sexual education of our youth adequately addresses these questions? Which ways can the education system improve the dialogue on this matter?
Nope, I mean we do like two classes in school but I think we need the dangers to be drilled into children. There definitely needs to be advertising the risks and reducing the sensitivity of the topic so that teenagers especially feel comfortable discussing these things with parents and doctors.
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