I got an STD, but my boyfriend says he's monogamous. Help!

Hi Dr. Kate,

I was recently diagnosed with Trichomoniasis. My doctor gave me medication and it went away. I read in the pamphlet thing that came with the meds that it is an STD. Me and my partner are monogamous so how would I get an STD? My boyfriend had also recently been tested and all came out negative. Could that be because it is hard to detect? I had to go to the doctor twice before they got it right. I trust him that he isn't sleeping with any one else but contracting an STD makes me a little confused.


Dear Triched,

Yes, trich is sexually transmitted, but it's not an infection that many docs routinely screen for. And it's rare that men are tested for it at all, unless they specifically ask (so your boyfriend was most likely not tested for it). So it's possible that you've had the infection for months or years -- since before your current guy -- or that HE's had it for months or years -- since before he met you. Testing positive for an STD doesn't necessarily mean that one of you hasn't been monogamous; some infections hang around for quite a while. (After you discover you have an STD, should you throw away your sex toys?)

When you see your gyno for a check-up and request STD screening, ask her what STDs she tests for. Most gynos will check your cervix for gonorrhea and chlamydia, and may offer blood testing for syphilis and HIV. For any thing else -- like trich or hepatitis -- just ask.

Good luck,

Dr. Kate

Related: Love in the Time of Herpes.