Finding out that you've acquired an STD can be devastating. First off, talk to your doctor regarding the guidelines for treating your particular STD. Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia are relatively easy to cure with antibiotics. STDs like herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV) and HIV are more serious. These STDs will require repeat treatments and medications that only your doctor can provide.
|How Do I Live With an STD?|
Though information about infection rates is hard to come by, it is estimated that at least one in four Americans will contract an STD at some point in their lives. While telling your partner that you have an STD may prove excruciating, it is important to remember that many of the people around you are living with, and dealing with, an STD on a daily basis. Hopefully, knowing you are not alone will boost your confidence.
One of the hardest things about having an STD is telling a new partner. To make the reveal as painless as possible, try following these guidelines:
Gather as much information as you can on your STD. Consult your doctor, web resources (such as Herpes Online, How to Tell or The Naked Truth) and books. Consider telling a trusted friend or therapist first, to see what they have to say on the subject. A quick internet search will return many resources and first-person accounts that may make you feel less alone. Try searching "Living with an STD" or "Telling partner about herpes."
Be open and honest with your partner. While telling a new partner can be scary, you should let him know about your STD before you have sex for the first time. Pick a time when you're both in relaxed, good moods. Don't wait until just before you get intimate. Start on a positive note. Talk about how happy you are with the relationship or how you want things to move further. Be calm and collected as you tell your partner. Your attitude will definitely influence his response. If you think it might help, give him printouts of articles you've found on your STD. In your research, you've probably found that STDs are more prevalent and easily treatable than your previously knew. These hard facts will help your partner more readily accept the situation. Allow your partner to react, and encourage him to ask questions.
Let your partner know you'll do your best to keep him protected if you decide to have sex. Have a conversation about condoms, suppressive therapy (if applicable) and lubricants (which help reduce the possibility of infection-spreading tears and cuts). This is a great time to discuss birth control in general.
Give your partner time. Your partner will probably be shocked at your news, and his first response might not be his final response. It's also very possible that he has an STD as well, or knows someone who does.
Most people find that their partners are understanding. It's natural that you fear rejection but in reality that rarely happens. If you've found a partner that truly likes you, he or she should be able to get past the STD and see you for who you really are.