4 Tips To Sharing Your STD Status With A Partner

4 Tips To Sharing Your STD Status With A Partner

In a “real” relationship, there must be talk about money, in-laws and other things. However, one of the most commonly overlooked discussions you should have with your significant other – before you have sex – is to talk about sexually transmitted disease or sexually transmitted infections.

This 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.

Juicebox 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.

Don’t Rush

If 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).

You could also slow the process down by letting them know that other activities without actual penetration can be enjoyed too.

Choose Where You’ll Let Them Know

Once 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.

It 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.

Know What You’re Talking About

Your 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.

If 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.

Clear Up Misconceptions

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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