Love in a Chair

A story by Altimexis

Disclaimer: This story is a personal exploration of the challenges and triumphs experienced by gay teens with disabilities. Some of the descriptions of sex may be graphic but, hopefully, in good taste. This story is under copyright. It is purely a work of fiction and any resemblance of characters to real people is completely coincidental. In most areas, one needs to be at least eighteen to read it and in some areas it may be illegal to read stories involving sex between minors, no matter how well intentioned they may be.

READERS SHOULD NOTE that this is not a story about eroticism gained through urination or scat. In fact, descriptions throughout the following chapters related to bowel and bladder movements, are described for the purpose of giving the reader an insight into the complications, embarrassments, and adjustments required in the everyday life of a paraplegic.

Chapter 18 - Family & Friends

“Brian, what was all that about wanting to know about condom use and wanting to be tested for STD’s back in the family meeting?”

“Aaron, look. You’re all I’ve got. I know we talked about taking our time and waiting to make a commitment, and I know you made a promise to your parents. I respect that and I certainly don’t want to make you feel guilty or put you under pressure or anything, but I nearly died in that car crash and I consider every day from here on a blessing.

“Let’s face it, if I lose you, I’m not going to find another lover… maybe a companion, but not another lover. I trust you implicitly and I know in my heart that you won’t violate my trust. God knows, you’ve every right to find a more suitable lover… and if you do, I trust you’ll tell me.

“I’ve made my decision, babe. With or without you, I’ve made my commitment to you. I want you… all of you… without any barriers between us.”

“Brian… I’m fully committed to you, too. I’ll never leave you. After all we’ve been through together in the last weeks and months, I know you’re the only person I’ll ever need, but Brian, I can’t go against my parents wishes.”

“I know that and I respect that. The only barrier that’ll make a difference to me, however, is when you wear a condom when I suck you off. Aaron, I want to be able to taste you. I want to feel the texture of your dick on my tongue. I want to feel your hot cum sliding down my throat. Now that I have nothing else but my mouth, this will give me more pleasure than any other aspect of sex. If you want to use a condom when you fuck me or suck me, that’s fine, but when I suck you, it’ll be me who’s at risk, not you. I really do trust you, you know.”

“I trust you, too, Brian. I trust you completely.”

“If it’ll make you feel any better, have yourself checked for STD’s, too…”

“I don’t have any STDs… you know that, but it might make our parents more comfortable with the idea of us having unprotected sex.”

“You want to talk to our parents about this?”

“God no! It was embarrassing enough when my mom talked to me about using condoms in the first place.”

“Then what are we gonna do? I know you felt terrible about the one time we didn’t use condoms in the shower, but you have to get over it, Aaron. Please, just give me this one thing. Tell your parents if you feel you have to, but don’t expect me to wait.”

Aaron was taken aback by Brian’s directness. He knew he could never talk to his parents about sex - at least not directly - but he would always feel guilty when having unprotected sex if he didn’t do something about it.

With resolve, Aaron stood up and walked out of the room, leaving a baffled Brian behind. He returned a few minutes later, with Dr. Stevens in tow.

“So what is it you boys would like to talk to me about that you couldn’t discuss in the family meeting? Something tells me it has something to do with sex.”

“Brian and I have been talking about what he can get out of sex now that he’s paraplegic…” Aaron started to say. “Brian told me that the most pleasurable thing he can do now is to have oral sex with me, but it won’t be enjoyable to him if I wear a condom. That’s what he was trying to get at in the family meeting. To tell you the truth, I’d like to perform oral sex on Brian, too, but I’m not sure I could even get a condom to stay on him if he didn’t get fully hard. The problem is that I promised my parents that I’d always use a condom.”

“So what you’re both saying is that you’d like to have unprotected oral sex with each other, but you promised your parents you wouldn’t, and you want me to give you my blessing instead?”

“Not exactly,” Aaron replied. “I’d like you to talk to my parents about it. I know you don’t think it’s a good idea, but just tell them that there is no risk to either of us so long as we were virgins to begin with, and so long as we’re faithful to each other. Also tell them that the risk from unprotected oral sex is relatively small. We’re willing to get tested and we’ll wait until the test results come back clean. I don’t think they would take our word for it and it would mean a lot more if you could speak to them.”

“Aaron, I understand where you’re coming from… believe me, I do. I understand how important this is to both of you, but if I talk to your parents, I’m obligated to talk to Brian’s as well. I’m not going to sugar-coat this and if they ask me for my opinion, I’m going to tell them what I already told you in the family meeting. I’m perfectly happy to talk to them, but only under these conditions.”

“Doc, I’m afraid that if you talk to my parents, they’re gonna say I can’t have sex at all,” Brian countered. “They may even say we can’t see each other any more. I wouldn’t even be in this wheelchair if it weren’t for them and the way they treated Aaron.”

“It’s your decision, boys,” Dr. Stevens interjected, “but if you feel strongly about taking risks by having unprotected oral sex, you need to be willing to take the risk that your parents will say ‘no’.”

“Brian, you’ve asked a lot of me,” Aaron added. “Your parents have come a long way in accepting me and in accepting that you’re gay. I think we have to trust them now.”

“OK, Doc, you can speak to my parents, too.”

The boys were very nervous as Dr. Stevens left the room, and they sat in silence for several minutes before either one spoke.

“Aaron, there’s one other important thing.” Brian began. “I’m not sure you’ve had a chance to think about it, but I don’t want to go back in the closet. I’ve been out here in rehab and it’s been OK. Even Kalvin seems to be cool with it. It just feels so much more natural to be able to be myself and not have to worry about people finding out about us, but I’m going to need you there by my side.”

“School’s a lot different than rehab, Brian.”

“Yeah, I know that, but we already have a lot of friends who know about us and the faculty advisors in the GSA are there. I think we can handle it.”

“Well, I was wondering how to tell you anyway, but we’re already pretty much out at school already.”

“What? Did Gary or Roger spill the beans?”

“You noticed them looking at us when they visited? Yeah, they approached me at school to ask if we’re a couple. Brian, I know I probably should have waited until we could talk to them together, but I wasn’t going to lie to them. So, yeah, I told them we were, and they were OK with it. In fact they told me that some of the other guys in the band have wondered about us for a while. But to answer to your question, no, it wasn’t them. They swore they would keep our secret until we’re ready to come out.”

“But if it wasn’t them, then who?”

“Actually, our school is a real rumor mill and while a lot of people have come up to me, wanting to know how you’re doing, more than a few clearly were trying to find out if the rumors were true. Of course I didn’t say anything, but I didn’t deny it either. So, yeah, I’d say we’re pretty much out anyway.”

“Well, everyone will know soon enough, but it’ll be cool to be able to be ourselves in public. So what if people make fun of us? The joke’ll be on them.”

The boys were kissing passionately when Brian’s parents entered the room. His mother cleared her throat and the boys pulled apart. Brian’s father said nothing, which made it evident that he had indeed come a long way. Brian started to panic when he saw his parents, however, and Aaron’s eyes flew open wide, knowing that his own parents had probably spoken with Dr. Stevens.

Seeing the looks of distress on the boys’ faces, Alan Sandler spoke to allay his son’s fears. “In case you’re wondering, we spoke with Dr. Stevens about you and Aaron. I don’t think you should be having sex at your age, but… Dr. Stevens made me think about what it was like for me when I was a teenager. Although I was a little bit older than you when I lost my virginity, there was no going back once I started.”

Both boys blushed furiously at Alan’s confession.

“We aren’t going to stop you from being together… Believe me, I’ve learned my lesson there… but we have a lot to think about.”

“Don’t worry, honey,” Ruth added, speaking directly to her son. “We’re going to do what’s best for you, but we need a little more time to think about what Dr. Stevens said.”

Aaron and Brian were relieved, but still very nervous when they parted later that evening.

The following evening, Bill Epstein stopped by the Johnson home to give Aaron and his parents an update on their case.

“Aaron, it’s good to see you. So how’s Brian doing?”

“He’s doing good, Bill. I mean it’s been rough and I know he’s been putting up a brave front for all of us, but he’s made great progress at the Rehab Center. I can’t wait till he comes home next week!”

“That’s wonderful, Aaron. Speaking of which, there’s some stuff we need to talk about. I’ve got some good news and some bad. Let me start with the bad news first.

“I had a meeting with the ADA handling your case yesterday. I had hoped that, with the overwhelming evidence we’ve collected, she’d simply drop all charges against you. A more seasoned prosecutor would have taken the time to actually look at the evidence, but she only recently joined the county DA’s office and she wants to be sure proper procedure is followed. So I’m afraid we’re going to have to proceed with the adjudicatory hearing.”

“Shit! I mean, damn! I mean…”

“It’s OK, Aaron, I said the same thing once I was out of earshot of the ADA.”

“So when’s this hearing going to take place?

“I thought we’d have more time, but with the thirty day limitation and the judge’s schedule, they set it for the eighth.”

“The eighth? Next Wednesday? On my birthday?”

“Some birthday present, huh? But seriously, I think it will end up being a great birthday. After we present our evidence, the worst that could happen is the judge would decide to take the case to trial which, with the evidence we’ve gathered, just ain’t gonna happen.”

“So what’s the good news?”

“We’ve got the analysis back on the paint samples taken from your mother’s car, and we now have definitive proof that you were struck by a Ford vehicle, specifically a Ford Expedition or Explorer. That, coupled with the debris found at the accident scene, pretty much clinches our claim that you were first struck by another vehicle, forcing you into the telephone pole.”

“That’s great news, Bill.”

“So what happens now?” Jim Johnson asked.

“We go to the hearing and present all of our evidence. My accident scene investigator will be there in case we need him to testify as to the validity of the evidence. Brian’s parents will also testify on your behalf, as they’ve promised to do. When did you say Brian’s being released from the rehab center?”

“He’s being released next Tuesday.”

“Ah, that’s perfect timing. It’ll really bolster our case to have your victim testify on your behalf, particularly since he can testify that he saw the SUV hit your car.

“Oh, and Aaron, I really need to go over your testimony in advance of the hearing with you. Although these hearings are very informal, I still don’t want you freaking out or anything. Having you practice what you’ll say will give you confidence during the real thing. Do you think we could spend a few hours tomorrow after school?”

“Sure, Bill. It’ll beat doing homework.”

“Not that you’ll get out of homework,” Ruth Johnson added with a parental glare.

The rest of the week passed quickly and soon it was time for Brian’s second and final therapeutic leave.

Brian’s parents thought it might be nice for everyone to go to church that day, as it had been quite a while since Brian had been, and they thought it wouldn’t hurt for everyone to give thanks that he’d come through his ordeal. Neither Brian nor Aaron, nor especially Adam were crazy about the idea, but they knew how much it meant to Brian’s parents. They decided to go along with it, although they weren’t religious. Ruth and Jim picked up Brian and Aaron in the Jetta at the Sandlers. June, Aaron and Adam were delegated to the back seat, while Brian rode shotgun for the ease of entry. Alan and June went in their SUV.

The prayer service was OK, but then the minister got up to give his sermon, which was on the evils of homosexuality. Needless to say, this made the boys very uncomfortable, but it didn’t stop there.

It was a real fire and brimstone speech that was exceptionally extreme, even for the fairly conservative congregation. The minister quoted chapter and verse and used example after example to drive home the point. It became more humiliating when he kept staring at Brian and Aaron. It wasn’t that he just looked at them occasionally, but his eyes lingered on the two of them to the point that it was obvious his sermon was aimed at them.

After a while, Brian boldly took Aaron’s hand and held it tightly. Aaron squeezed back. A few people around them noticed this and looked away, but a woman nearby looked at them and smiled.

The minister, however, glared right at them and continued, “It’s sad that even in the face of God’s punishment, some choose to ignore His will.”

Suddenly, Brian’s father got up and walked to the pulpit. He turned to the minister and said, “Excuse me, reverend, but there’s something I must say to you and the rest of the congregation.” He practically shoved the minister aside and stepped up to the mike.

“My name is Alan Sandler and I’ve been a member of this congregation for more than a dozen years. As many of you know, my son, Brian, was recently involved in an accident that has left him paralyzed from the chest down. I believe this is what the reverend was just referring to as ‘God’s punishment’. You see, my son is gay. Until recently, I felt very much the way the reverend does and, undoubtedly, the way a lot of you do as well. But instead of this accident being a punishment, if anything it has brought us closer together.

“The accident tore our lives apart. It has been Hell for all of us, and yet not one of you has done anything to help me or my family. Other than a few cards, not one of you has even bothered to call us, or to visit my son in the hospital, or to offer help to us in our time of need.

“My son’s boyfriend, Aaron, on the other hand, has been there from the beginning. At first we shut him out, because of what he was, and because of what we thought he had done to our son. But he didn’t make Brian gay. Brian was born gay and I know that now. Then we continued to shut him out because he was driving the car at the time of the accident, but he did not cause the accident… it was a hit-and-run driver who did this to my son. Since we let Aaron into our lives, he has been an inspiration to us all. His love for my son has been selfless, and he’s helped us in immeasurable ways. I’m proud that Aaron is my son’s boyfriend. I am proud of both my boys.

“Is what they’re doing a sin? That is for God to decide… not us. Does God hate them because they’re gay? Look at them… they’re children! But in many ways they’re more grown up than most of the people in this room. They’ve faced severe adversity, and they continue to face it every day, and they’ve risen to the occasion. They are good, decent human beings, and they’re selfless. They’re truly doing God’s work to the best of their abilities, which is more than I can say for most of the people in this room, and particularly for the reverend.” He turned to the minister and said, “No offense, Reverend, but you could learn a lot from my boys. They may not be going to Heaven, but until you stop deigning yourself to be God’s Judge and Jury, they’re a Hell of a lot closer to Heaven than you’ll ever be.”

As Brian’s father walked back to his seat, a few of the congregants rose and started to applaud including Ruth, Jim and Adam. A few more rose and then a few more. Although far from a standing ovation, it was more than a token gesture, with perhaps twenty percent of the congregation expressing their approval for Mr. Sandler’s remarks.

However, that didn’t stop him from doing what he’d already planned. He gathered up his ‘sons’ and his wife and they left the sanctuary, Brian’s wheelchair in the lead, followed by Aaron, Jim, Ruth, and Adam. Together, they exited the church for the last time.

Once outside, Brian’s dad said, “I still believe in God, but I can’t go back there. We’ll look for a more tolerant congregation.”

Aaron and Brian were in utter shock. Neither one could believe how Alan Sandler stood up for them. Brian reached out and hugged his father and when he was done, Aaron did the same, followed by his wife and the Johnsons. Nothing, however, could have prepared them for what Alan Sandler said next.

“You know boys, things were very different when I was growing up. The word ‘gay’ meant happy and people just didn’t talk about homosexuality. Kids joked about people who were ‘queer’ much as they do today, but the implications were much more harsh then, and my parents were even more fervent in their religious beliefs than we are. I firmly believed that homosexuality was the work of Satan himself, and the possibility that I might be gay never once entered my mind.

“I told you a while back that I would one day tell you how I knew that it’s possible for someone gay to become straight. Well, I realize now that’s not really a choice anyone can make. The fact that I dated girls and married had nothing to do with being straight or gay… it was because I didn’t even acknowledge that there was another way. I thought the feelings I had were evil and had to be suppressed, and suppress them I did until I was forced to confront them by your accident and by my June, who is a much more astute person than I’d ever realized before.

“What I guess I’m saying is that, like you, I was born gay. I forced myself to live a straight life and I guess that I’m truly bisexual now, as I really do have a strong physical attraction to June and I love her very much. Our love is much stronger than mere sex and I’ve absolutely no regrets about what I am today. If I had it to do over again, sure, I’d probably do things differently, but the fact of the matter is that I can’t do things over again, nor would I necessarily want to. I have a great life, a wonderful loving wife and two incredible ‘sons’ of whom I couldn’t be more proud. I’m glad that you two have the chance to live the life I denied myself. At times, life will be cruel to you because you’re gay, just as it was in there today, but the love you share is something special and you’re much stronger than almost anyone I’ve known, myself included.

“Brian, because of everything that’s happened, I want you both to know that Aaron is welcome in our home at anytime and that he can spend the night with you providing that Ruth and Jim approve.”

Jim and Ruth Johnson provided big smiles and nodded their heads in agreement. They, too, were overwhelmed at the words and actions of Alan Sandler this Sunday morning.

Alan continued, “Brian, although I still don’t agree with teenagers having sex, your Mom and I will honor your privacy when you’re in your room and the door is closed. We trust both of you to be responsible when you’re together. I only ask that you and Aaron consider that sex brings about powerful emotions that can be overwhelming. You may feel that you’re mature, but you have a long way to go in learning to deal with sex, and love. For these reasons, I sincerely hope that you will choose to wait until you’re adults and ready to make a full commitment to one another.”

“But what about the stuff Dr. Stevens talked to you about?” Brian asked.

“Your mother and I have talked quite a bit with Aaron’s parents about it, and we’ve decided that we trust you. If you do decide to have sex, we expect you to be honest with each other, to be completely faithful to each other and to use protection. If you feel you can’t use protection for… um… certain things, then you have to think first about the other person and tell them if you have ever been unfaithful.” Alan turned to face Aaron and said, “And that goes for you, too, Aaron.”

“Don’t worry, Mr. Sandler, I would never be unfaithful to Brian, and I would rather die than do anything to hurt him.”

“And of course you need to wait until your STD tests come back clean,” Ruth added.

“Of course we will, Mom, and the results will come back clean.”

“Now that I’ve bared my heart and a piece of my soul to you folks, I think we better get out of here before the congregation starts leaving the church. Maybe with what I said in there, the reverend may stir up a lynch mob!” Alan concluded with a smile.

On the way home, in the Jetta, Aaron pondered about a conversation he had with his mother a short time after the accident.

“Mom,” Aaron said with a big smile, “You’re a miracle worker. None of this today would have happened if you hadn’t spoken to Brian’s mom.”

“Well Aaron, after our little conversation at the restaurant, all I expected to get was a little understanding of what both you and Brian were going through. Today, I can only say that I’m happy for Alan and June.”

“I really have to look up to that man.” Jim declared. “What he did today, took a lot of courage in that he faced who he really is. Brian, you should be very proud of your Dad.”

“Believe me Mr. Johnson, I am. It’s going to take me a while to get to know my ‘new’ Dad. I never thought I’d hear him say what he did in church this morning.”

Back at the Sandler home, Brian wasted little time in ushering Aaron into his room, shutting the door behind them. They immediately started making out, savoring the taste of each other’s tongues in their mouths. Although Aaron wasn’t sure he wanted to test the waters just yet, especially with both sets of parents just down the hall in the great room, Brian wasted little time in rubbing Aaron’s dick through his jeans. Aaron felt his member swell even more as his boyfriend lovingly rubbed it up and down. Just as Brian reached for Aaron’s zipper, there was a knock at the door. Before they even had a chance to answer it, the door swung open and Larry and Adam stepped inside.

“Hey studs,” Larry said as he surveyed the situation. “Hope I wasn’t interrupting anything,” he said with a smirk.

“You know you were,” Brian responded. “So, how’s your self-control these days,” came Brian’s retort, recalling how Larry had cum almost immediately the night he lost his virginity at their New Year’s party.

Larry blushed crimson as he replied, “Not that it’s any of your business, but Cindy’s been having a real good time lately… Oh, Aaron, my dad’s here. He’d like to talk to you.”

Reluctantly, Aaron left Brian’s room, leaving Brian, Adam and Larry some time to catch up with each other. He headed down the hall to the great room, where he found Bill Epstein sipping on some coffee and sitting in a chair across from his parents. Aaron sat down in the other chair, next to Larry’s father.

“Aaron, I was just telling your parents about some wonderful news.”

“What is it?” Aaron asked, noticing that his parents were positively beaming.

“We found the vehicle that hit you.”

Really?” Aaron shouted as he jumped up and pulled Bill out of his chair, enveloping him in a tight hug.

“Yes, Aaron, really,” Bill replied as he pried himself loose. “It was right under our noses, or I should say, the sheriff’s office’s noses, the whole time. How they missed making the connection, I’ll never know. It’s not like there were that many accidents that night. The Ford Expedition that hit you was involved in a second accident not long after it hit you. The driver was drunk as a skunk. He ran off the side of the road, flipped it several times, and was thrown out of the vehicle. He wasn’t wearing his seat belt and was DOA. His blood alcohol was more than twice the legal limit. The SUV has been in the impound lot all along, and we were able to positively match the debris found at your accident site to that vehicle. There’s no doubt about it. I just got word today from the investigator I hired to track it down.”

“Does this mean we can skip the hearing?” Aaron asked.

“Unfortunately, not at this late a date, and besides, there’s still that little issue of your driving without a license.”

“Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that,” Aaron said as his mood became more subdued. “I guess that means I won’t be driving until I’m eighteen.”

“Not necessarily. As I explained to your dad a few days ago, Brian’s parents aren’t going to be able to be there for him 24/7. He’s going to need you. The federal government mandates that the county provide accessible transportation to everyone, but services around here are pathetic. They’ll send a lift van alright, but it often shows up two hours after you needed to be at your appointment. We’re going to argue that you need your license to provide transportation for Brian to attend school, his doctor and therapy appointments, and to partake in any school’s extracurricular activities. That, and the fact that you have a sterling record, should give us a good shot at getting the charge waved.”

“But, I’m still not sure I want it just yet. Not after what happened.”

“Which is one of the reasons you need to drive, Aaron.” Jim Johnson added, “You need to get back out there and drive. Besides which, you heard what Bill said. Brian’s going to need you to drive him around. Remember what I said, ‘face your demons’? I think today, Alan gave us a good demonstration of that.” Jim, Ruth and June looked at Alan and smiled as Brian wheeled into the room; Adam and Larry following.

“Um, OK. I know you’re right. I guess it would be cool to be able to drive Brian around, at least until he gets his own license.”

Larry looked at Aaron. “Aaron, we were talkin’ in the bedroom, and we feel this is a lot for you to have on your shoulders. I just want you and everyone here to know that if Aaron needs a backup to help Brian, for any reason, I’ll be around to help. Who’s to say; Aaron you may have a cold or the flu one day. Count on me OK?”

Aaron stood up and hugged Larry. “If you weren’t so straight, I’d kiss you.”

“Me too!” Brian said from his chair. The room broke into laughter. The tensions of the day were suddenly relieved.

Later that evening, after they’d returned Brian to the Rehab Center, Aaron found himself lying awake in bed. He thought about the whirlwind of the day’s events and the complete change he’d witnessed in Brian’s father. Thinking about the upcoming hearing was scary, but having his honey come home far outweighed the negative emotions he might have otherwise felt.

He felt alive again - he and Brian had both their parents’ blessings! And God, Brian was so sexy! So he might be in a wheelchair. So his dick might not work. He felt sad for Brian, but somehow he knew that he could make it up to Brian. With his help, Brian would resume a satisfying sexual life. Together they would have a great life together.

As Aaron lay there, his dick began to grow hard. He thought about having sex with that beautiful boy of his and the temperature in the room seemed to rise. That beautiful face. Those piercing blue eyes. Those sensuous lips. That luscious tongue. Those firm, sensual nipples. God, he wanted him!

Aaron started to stroke his own hard-on, slowly at first and then more rapidly. As he stroked, he thought about Brian stroking him - about Brian sucking on him. And he could feel Brian’s love washing over him. He felt a tingling pleasure building in his balls and work its way up through his body. The pleasure built and shot out through the head of his dick, sending spurt after spurt of cum onto his face, his chest and his belly. It had been days since he’d jerked off and he couldn’t believe the duration of his orgasm and the amount of cum. Slowly the waves of pleasure started to subside and Aaron returned from his high.

He drifted off to a pleasant, restful sleep - the first in ages.

As you may have guessed, there’s a bit of me in Alan Sandler’s confession - not that I’m religious, but I grew up at a time when homosexuality was considered a mental disorder - and I certainly didn’t want to have a mental illness, and I was in major denial. Please be sure to visit my forum, or e-mail me your comments. I would like to thank WriteByMyself and David of Hope for their editing skills and invaluable suggestions, Trab for his proofreading and Captain Rick for providing incomparable advice on the legal aspects of the plot. This story can be found at Gay Authors and Awesome Dude. It was originally hosted at Nifty and at the Rainbow Community Writing Project. I am greatful to all of these sites for hosting this and my other stories.

I have one parting thought, however. Although Aaron and Brian have decided to dispense with the use of protection for oral sex, this was not necessarily a wise decision. Children often make bad choices and they usually lack the maturity to fully appreciate the consequences. Sadly, this is commonly the case with adults as well. Having a disability is not an excuse for dispensing with the use of condoms and, in fact, the risks often are greater than among the able-bodied population for the reasons already cited and because the types of accidents and injuries that lead to disability are commonly seen in association with other risk-taking behaviors - behaviors that may include unsafe sexual practices.

If a monogamous couple decides to dispense with safer sex practices, there are a number of steps that can and should be followed to prevent the transmission of STDs. First of all, complete testing for common STDs, including HIV, must be done no less than six months after the last sexual encounter with anyone outside of the relationship. This is essential, as HIV can have a latency of up to six months during which it is not detectable in common screening tests. The couple should either abstain from sex or practice safer sex techniques until the tests come back clean. The couple must remain faithful from then on, and even then, it’s advisable to have STD testing repeated every six months until both members are comfortable with the permanence of the relationship. If the couple is heterosexual, of course it goes without saying that they need to practice contraception.

That’s all for now, and be safe!