At ARCpoint Labs, we’re big proponents of STD testing, as it’s the best way for individuals to monitor their sexual health and help prevent the spread of STDs.
But does this mean that STD testing should be required before marriage?
A proposed bill out of Oklahoma would require just that, and it’s causing a controversy.
Here are a few points from both sides of the argument.
Should STD Testing be Required Before Marriage?
Yes – Let’s Require STD Testing
Proponents of the bill say that requiring STD testing before marriage could help combat Oklahoma’s high STD rates.
The state currently ranks #13 nationwide for STD rates, with 621.2 cases per 100,000 people.
Since STDs cost taxpayers money in the form of healthcare costs — totally $17 billion annually nationwide — stopping the spread of STDs is in everyone’s best interests. Proponents say that this bill is a step in the right direction when it comes to STD prevention.
Opponents of Senate Bill 733 say that the law would unnecessarily bar couples from getting married, and that it represents government intrusion into marriages.
If two people agree to come together in matrimony, can the government really step in and bar them because one or both has a communicable disease? If people are committing to marry and promising fidelity, does it matter if they have an STD?
Furthermore, the bill presents privacy concerns, as it would change what health information is considered private under HIPAA laws. A file containing STD testing results would be a record in the court clerk’s office.
Opponents also point out that the notion that the bill would prevent STDs from spreading is flawed, as STDs are most prevalent in young adults 15 – 24 years old; the average marriage age is 27 years in women and 29 in men.
And, considering that gay and bisexual men are more at-risk for STDs, there’s some concern that this is an attempt to prevent gay couples from wedding in Oklahoma. By banning some men from marrying, the bill would fly in the face of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals’ October 6, 2014 order for the state to recognize same-sex marriage.
STD Testing for Couples & Individuals
Regardless of the outcome of Oklahoma’s Senate Bill 733, ARCpoint Labs can provide STD testing to individuals or couples who want to know their status. We test for a range of STDs and can help you and your partner know your sexual health. Staying informed is key!