So here’s a question I put out there to my friends who have expertise with sexual health. (Or even just an opinion on the matter.)

A friend of mine is recently starting to become socially active, having become single a couple of years ago. He’s already involved in a casual friends-with-benefits relationship, and there’s something on his horizon that may be developing.

At some point, I recommended to him that as long as he’s dating, he should get an STD test periodically. Particularly if he’s going to be involved with more than one person at one time, I consider it an ethical responsibility. He agreed, and said that since he was already due for his annual physical, he’d ask them to run it at the same time.

Yesterday, he told me that he’d had that appointment, and that his doctor had refused to order the panel:

His rationale, insofar as I could read it, was “They aren’t reliable past the first ten minutes after you have them, so wait until you have a stable partner and then get tested together.

To which I said: “You should fire your doctor. That’s not only wrong, it’s completely irresponsible.”

This goes beyond my usual insistence that as the consumer, you have the right to have a say in setting your own health priorities. I’m flabbergasted that a doctor would, in 2012, tell a sexually active person that there’s no point in getting STD screening as a preventing measure.

Am I overreacting, or is this utterly bizarre?