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Your Questions — 11 minutes

I’m in a steady relationship. Should I still get tested every once in a while?

Raymond Lepage, PhD, Doctor in Biochemistry
Raymond Lepage, PhD, Doctor in Biochemistry
Science popularizer

When you’re in a long-term relationship, it’s common to feel safe enough not to protect yourself against sexually transmitted or blood-borne infections (STBBIs) using barrier methods such as condoms. However, when is the risk actually non-existent? And, what other questions should you be asking to avoid getting an STBBI? couple homosexuel

My partner and I have never had any other sexual partners. Are we protected?

Lifelong monogamy is very rare, but it does prevent many STBBIs. However, once contracted, herpes remains present in the human body for life and can sometimes appear after being dormant for many years.

It’s also important to remember that infidelity is always possible in a relationship. Its occurrence can distort any feeling of protection.

Finally, there are other ways of getting an STBBI. It can be by injecting drugs or getting a tattoo with a badly decontaminated needle. Therefore, there’s no such thing as “no risk” with this type of illness, so it’s important to continue being careful.

I’ve been in a relationship for the past year. Is that long enough to not bother with a condom?

Some sexually transmitted diseases can be present without symptoms in some people. The problem is that they can remain transmissible for several months or even years.

Therefore, it’s important for a couple to be tested before eliminating condoms altogether or trying to get pregnant. 

I’ve already had an STBBI. Am I protected for life?

In an immunocompetent person, lifetime protection can only be obtained for infections that can be prevented through successful vaccination (e.g., HPV or hepatitis A or B). Most other STBBIs (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, etc.) provide no subsequent immunity, enabling the possibility of reinfection.

For professional support, we’re here.

We provide a wide range of services related to HPV and other STBBIs. Test results for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV are available within 24 hours. A doctor's prescription is required.

Do you have a medical prescription for any of these tests? Book an appointment online or contact Biron Health Group’s customer service at 1 833 590-2712.

Raymond Lepage, PhD, Doctor in Biochemistry
Raymond Lepage, PhD, Doctor in Biochemistry
Science popularizer
For about 50 years, Raymond Lepage worked as a clinical biochemist in charge of public and private laboratories. An associate clinical professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montréal and an associate professor at the Université de Sherbrooke, he has also been a consultant, researcher, legal expert and conference speaker. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications for scientific conferences and journals, and now devotes part of his semi-retirement to popularizing science.