By Lead writer: Nick Burns
Updated: September 12, 2016

sex-partner-ask-questionsStart by sharing your own story, and see what you get back.Max Power/Corbis

Before hopping into bed with a new sex partner, have an open and honest conversation about your sexual histories, risks, and the last time you were tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Knowing someone's test results isn't enough. "Even if your partner tested negative for HIV last week, it doesn't mean he or she isn't HIV positive," says Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, a psychologist specializing in HIV at New York University. "Most HIV tests can only detect the virus starting three to six months after infection—so you should ask about your partner's sexual history for the past six months."
 More about safer sex

Here's what you need to find out. Of course, you probably won't get too far down the list if you just roll out the interrogation; but these are the questions you really do need answers to, one way or another. One option: Start by sharing your own history, and see what you get back.

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