As common as STDs are, there’s a lot of misinformation and stigma around them, and they make awkward and uncomfortable conversations. However, telling your partner about having an STD is an essential part of looking out for yourself and your partner. It’s a conversation you need to have; they need to know their health is at risk.
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Telling your partner, what first?
The first way to know you have an STD is to get tested. Unfortunately, most STDs get passed on when there are no symptoms, and people don’t realise they’re infected. One way to get tested is by using the STD testing app iplaysafe, enabling you to get the results on your mobile device.
The STD play safe app helps avoid the awkward moment of sitting there waiting anxiously for results.
Imagine that your roles are reversed
Now that you know you have an STD, you might be unsure how to open up to your partner.
Imagine the shoe was on the other foot, and your partner is the one with an STD. Your partner hiding the truth of having an STD, endangering your health, is not a thing you would appreciate.
Openness and transparency are essential in a relationship, and your willingness to have this conversation shows your honesty, love and respect for your partner.
It’s best to be direct and open
It’s best to be honest, not everyone has a clean bill of health, and STDs are more common than you would think. So don’t beat around the bush. Tell them!
Being open to dialogue by possibly anticipating their response to you and asking if they have any questions makes the conversation interactive and helps your partner feel more comfortable.
Let your partners decision be organic
Don’t push your partner to make decisions about sex or your relationship right away.
It’s normal to feel insecure and want acceptance and reassurance after revealing such personal information but give the other person some space.
Give them ample time to come up with a decision themselves without being externally influenced.
Anticipate possible reaction
It takes telepathy to know precisely how they would react to this new piece of information. Their response and reaction may be unfavourable and not go the way you have anticipated.
You should be willing and ready to take their response with calm and composure. Best believe they will most likely appreciate you for your openness and assure you that their feelings haven’t changed.
This might open a new phase in the journey of your relationship.
Be proud of your transparency
Opening up, being vulnerable and sharing personal information about yourself and your sexual history can be pretty scary as those kinds of conversations can be difficult.
So be proud of yourself for taking this step, no matter how your partner reacts.
The only wrong way to tell someone you have an STI is not to say anything at all.
While there are personal measures you can take, such as getting vaccinated against HPV (human papillomavirus) and using your condoms, safe sex usually takes two people.
Make sure you and your partner agree and strictly adhere to safe sex measures to prevent the transmission of STDs.
Book a doctor’s appointment
The conversation does not end with your partner and yourself. First, you both must see a doctor on how the STD can be treated or managed. And almost as important as visiting the doctor this time is scheduling periodic checkups.
Will I know if I have an STD?
You will not always know if you are infected with an STD. Gonorrhea, for example, shows no symptoms in men and only shows mild symptoms in some women. The only way to know for sure if you have an STD or not is to get tested.
Is my STD curable?
Bacterial infections like Chlamydia, Syphilis, and Gonorrhea are curable with antibiotics. On the other hand, viral infections like Herpes, Genital warts, and HIV are at the moment incurable.
What is the difference between STD and STI?
STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Diseases, while STI means Sexually Transmitted Infections. While they are many times used interchangeably, there is still a difference between both terms. The difference is that not all infections become diseases, making STI the more correct term.
While it is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing, as many people raise the subject of STDs with their partner differently, telling your partner you have an std can be awkward, and it is normal to be nervous.
Openly discussing sexual health is not something we are taught to do, but always remember, it is the right thing to do as there are many things (like relationships) and, more importantly, people at stake.