Are You Clean or Clear When Your STI Test Comes Back Negative?

by Reid on October 23, 2017

Herpes. Medical Concept on Red Background.Some people us the word “clean” when their STI or STD test results come back negative… Is there an upgrade?

With Reid Mihalko from and Cathy Vartuli from

Reid: Hey Cathy, I just got tested and I’m clean. How about you? 

Cathy: Reid, I love that you got tested, and you’re clean whether you showered or not, not whether you got tested negative or not. 

Reid: What does that mean? I’m confused. 

Cathy: This is Reid Mihalko from 

Reid: Cathy Vartuli from 

Cathy: This is something that happens a lot in the community, I see it. I love that people are getting tested and you model us. You may post his test results on Facebook sometimes, and just show people that it’s okay to be tested and it’s okay to even have … you have HSV-1. There’s nothing wrong with that. When we say I’m clean, it means that we’ve tested negative for things. That implies that if we’ve tested positive we’re dirty or there’s something wrong. 

Reid: If you want the Sex Geek upgrade, be mindful not to use the word clean around testing. Your sex toys can be clean, fresh out of the washing machine. 

Cathy: Your body can be washed and showered. 

Reid: And clean. When you’re talking about STI results, use clear or negative to communicate that you tested negative for something. 

Cathy: That helps take the stigma out of it because we don’t want to shame people that are tested positive. They’re testing and they’re sharing. That’s wonderful. It’s fabulous. Some of those STDs and STIs that are going around, a lot of people have them. There’s nothing … It’s just part of being a human being and being connected. 

Reid: Mm-hmm (affirmative). 

Cathy: If you can, notice the words you’re using and try not to indicate that someone’s not clean if they’re positive for something. 

Reid: That is your Sex Geek upgrade tip for the day. Hit subscribe.

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