Q: When is it OK to stop using safe sex precautions? I’ve been with my partner for 18 months but am still a bit wary. Is it OK to ask him to get checked out by a doctor? Kath, via email.
A: It’s a good idea to assume a partner not monogamous (people lie!). This means you’re taking responsibility for your own sexual safety, which is a good thing. Only change your behaviour if you’re 100 per cent sure your partner is committed, faithful and will never stray. Even if you do use protection, make sure you both understand its limitations. For example, are you clear about the risks in giving and receiving oral sex? If you are not using barrier protection, you risk contracting HIV, hepatitis and other diseases. It is entirely reasonable to ask a partner to undergo testing, but the results are only valid until his next sexual liaison with someone else. Unfortunately these days, trust is a tough call.
Photo by morgue file Feb 7, 2013