Did you know that one in two sexually active individuals will get an STI by the age of 25? This fact is not intended to scare you, but to normalize discussion around STDs and end the stigma for those living with them.
If you have an STI or STD, you may be embarrassed or nervous at the prospect of talking to your partner about it. But if you’re going to have a healthy sex life—and healthy relationship in general—it’s important to be upfront and honest about what you’re dealing with. As you prepare to disclose your STD to your partner, keep these tips in mind for an open and positive conversation.
Have the conversation early.
It’s best to tell your partner about your STD before you start having sex, so they can make an informed decision about taking the next step. Try to choose a non-sexual moment when you’re both feeling positive to broach the subject. If possible, have this conversation in person, somewhere you feel safe and comfortable.
Be honest, direct, and open to discussion.
There’s no need to make excuses or apologies when you disclose an STD to your partner. You have nothing to be ashamed of and don’t owe them a lengthy explanation about how you got it, if you don’t want to provide one. Simply give them the facts and try to remain empathetic to how they might be feeling. Encourage them to ask questions and voice any concerns.
Be prepared for how they might react.
You likely needed some time and space to process the news of your STD when you found out, so keep in mind your partner might need the same. Although they may be scared or surprised at first, that doesn’t mean they will react negatively once they adjust to the idea. Let them know you want to make the relationship work, but don’t pressure them to be ready to discuss it right away.
It’s important to remember though that you are doing the right thing and don’t deserve to be disrespected or judged for having an STD. Your partner’s response says more about them than it does about you. Negative and hurtful reactions should be considered a red flag.
Regular STD testing is a crucial aspect of every woman’s reproductive healthcare.
At South Avenue Women’s Services, we provide confidential STD/STI testing to women throughout Rochester and all of Western NY. Our professionals perform testing for a wide range of diseases and infections, as well as provide the compassionate treatment you need if something comes back positive.
Give us a call at 585-271-3850 to schedule your test today!