I’ve been dating someone for six months and we decided to stop using condoms. I asked him to go and get tested and it turns out he has NEVER been tested. He’s older than me – 35! So, I was really surprised by this as it has always been such a part of my approach to sex and relationships.
However, he’s Brazilian and he said that it just simply isn’t something that is part of their psyche in Brazil and that none of his partners has ever mentioned it, and it’s not something he’d heard any friends talk about either. He’s just always used condoms. Obviously, it might just be his experience, but I found it interesting.
I offered to go with him (he said no) and explained that the test would be really quick and easy and also let him know what to ask for (test for everything – including bloods).
We live in such a wonderful multicultural society here in Australia, which I think is a great thing. But I guess this for me highlighted that different cultures/countries etc also means different approaches to healthcare and sex.
I think sometimes we can take our culture where there are such positive attitudes to STI testing for granted! I’ve met lots of people from South America and some parts of Europe where they’ve just said, “testing isn’t really a thing where I’m from”. One was from Lisbon – maybe it’s a linguistic thing in Portuguese? (just kidding – but also maybe not? Culture and language could be linked, however faintly)
All I can say is that even if he wasn’t getting tested, at least he was still always using condoms!
I think sometimes even with the best availability of free STI testing in some countries, including ours, there are still people who don’t see the need to test.
When I was in Brazil (Rio), I was discussing this with a guy I met, and he was quite aware about getting a test. He knew about how much he should test, and how to access PrEP (medication to prevent HIV). He also spoke about having good insurance with his family, and that inner city Rio has good access, but elsewhere in the country and other suburbs it’s not as good.
Most people that tell me when I ask why they haven’t had a screen is because “they’ve always used condoms” which is good, but yes, very important to get a check up.
Wow, @ekoorb9 that’s so interesting! Thank you so much for sharing! I knew different countries have different views on sexual health but I didn’t realise it could just be completely looked over like that.
I’m so glad your partner felt safe and comfortable enough to go and get tested, even if they have never been before. It’s great that you’ve offered them so much support – I hope it went well for them!