is especially important if you are the one with an STD or STI (no
matter what kind it is). While modern medicine has helped to
destigmatize an STD or STI diagnosis, it still difficult to talk
about with a partner.
founder and sex educator Brianna Radar is looking for ways to help
people talk confidently about the diseases. She has provided several
tips to help people open and talk about STDs and STIs.
you’re not already having sex with your significant other, there’s
no reason to let someone know you have an STI. You can wait to share
the status, and only share it when you feel the time is right. If
you’re just hooking up for a one-night stand, you need to practice
safe sex, using both male and female condoms. If they ask, you can
say it’s a personal preference without ever having to disclose the
real reason (though it’s best if you do).
could also slow the process down by letting them know that other
activities without actual penetration can be enjoyed too.
you’ve decided the time is right to let them know about your
status, you need to make sure the setting is right. You want a calm,
quiet spot that puts you both at ease – the best place would be
theirs or your home. If you bring it up in a place where they feel
comfortable, it will help in the discussion.
should begin by letting them know you need to talk to them about
saying they feel anxious about. Let them know that you know there is
a stigma around STDs but that you have one (let them know which kind
before they ask). You can say that you wanted to disclose the status
before the relationship went even further.
partner is going to have questions, so be as informative as you can.
Avoid using the phone to give you the answers; prepare yourself ahead
of time. You want them to know about how the transmission happens and
what the health risks could be to them. Be sure to get these answers
from your doctor.
your partner starts questioning you about how you got it or other
things that make you feel uncomfortable, chances are they are not the
right person for you.
It’s true that talking about STDs and STIs is difficult due to the stigma associated with them. However, the first conversation you have with them about your STD can help to break the misconceptions they have. Talking about your STD status can be emotional, and sharing your status could give them some empathy for you for it. They may also be happy that you shared with them this deep part of you because they know how difficult it can be to talk about it.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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