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sexually transmitted diseases control branch

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Honest conversation​ will help you establish the right sexual health routine.

A health care provider can be a family doctor, internist, Obstetrician (OB) and/or gynecologist (GYN), general medical doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or nurse-midwife trained in general medicine. Your provider can help you develop a testing and vaccination plan. When you visit your health care provider, you should discuss sex as it relates to your health. Your health care provider calls this “taking a sexual history.” This information helps you and your provider to develop a sexual health routine that fits your lifestyle.

​Here are a few questions you should expect and be prepared to answer honestly:

  • Have you been sexually active in the last year?

  • Do you have sex with men, women, both, or another gender identity?

  • In the past 12 months, how many sexual partners have you had?

  • Do you have anal, oral, or vaginal sex?

  • What are you doing to protect yourself from STIs?

You can find additional questions your health care provider might ask you in this guide. ​

You can ask your health care provider questions, too! 

For example, you may want to know how to protect yourself from getting an STI, which STI tests you need, or how often to get tested for STIs. Make the most of your visit by thinking through your questions, or even practicing what you want to say ahead of time.​

​If you don’t feel comfortable discussing your sexual health with your regular health care provider, you can find another provider.​

Vaccines are available for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, HPV and mpox so ask your health care provider whether these are right for you.​
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