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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 5401
Experience:  20 Years in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Sports Medicine
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What is the risk of an STD? I have only had sex with my

Customer Question

What is the risk of an STD? I have only had sex with my husband and we both have only had sex with each other. If I divorce and marry someone I knew since college who had sex with two people am I at risk for an STD? How good are condoms in protecting you from STDs? The only way I know to be sure is abstinence or my situation, and is there a risk from my husband even if we only had sex with each other?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 12 months ago.

Hi Marilyn. How long have you been married?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hope you go in to the need for the year.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I am traveling, back on Oct. 2, so will rate your answer then. Thanks!
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 12 months ago.

The year is not as important as the duration of your marriage. Some STDs can be carried into a marriage from a previous relationship. This would not be an issue after 36 years as symptoms would have arisen already. That said, if you and your husband have been completely monogamous over the course of those 36 years, there is no risk of STD. If you now marry someone else, you could pick up an STD from him (from his prior relationships). Using condoms consistently greatly reduces the chances of transmision of all STDs but does not eliminate the risk completely. If you have your new partner tested for all STDs and he comes back disease-free, then you can "start fresh" so to speak regarding STDs. In other words, if you both stay completely monogamous after negative testing, you do not need to worry about contracting an STD.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hello, as a follow up which is part of the original question, I have familiarity with tests being, say 40 per cent accurate, so they are accurate 40 per cent of the time, which is the best they can do for the test. (An example is a feline FIV test). You said the test is good for a concern with contracting human STDs, is it 100 per cent or what per cent accuracy, and I assume despite any inaccuracy, you feel it is enough to insure complete elimination of risk for STDs? Thanks. I accept your earlier answer but would appreciate your comment about the concern for accuracy with the tests. If this is a separate question, just let me know and I will ask it later.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 11 months ago.

The tests are getting better (earlier detection) and more reliable every few years. The sensitivities depend on what one is testing for and the type of test used eg. PCR, western blot, EIA, culture, etc). In general, sensitivities run in the 85 -99% range. Positive tests are often confirmed with secondary testing. Negative results can also be confirmed by re-testing.