You test positive for an STD. Now what?Rina Ellis
February 28, 2023
First off, don’t beat yourself up or feel ashamed. There are a lot of stigmas attached to STDs, but what people don’t realize is that it can be pretty common! Especially bacterial infections like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are highly contagious and anyone can get it, whether you are promiscuous or monogamous. Also, a concerning amount of people don’t know this ( you can blame the lack of early sex education for that!) you don’t even need to have intercourse to contract it-you can even get it from oral sex, or sharing sex toys! The first step when you get a positive test result is to get treatment as soon as possible, and then the hard part.. This goes without saying but the quick answer is YES, it is absolutely imperative that you disclose this to your partner(s). This may be an uncomfortable discussion but it is vital as many STDS can be asymptomatic (no symptoms), and not treating it can develop into more complications that can result in infertility, and even death in some cases (depending on the STD) . Some even have no cure, such as HPV and HSV, but medication is available to keep your symptoms at bay. Also, if you want to continue having a sexual realtionship with someone, you need to let them know otherwise they can just pass it back you, creating a vicious cycle. Depending on where you are in the world, some doctors offices allow you to send anonymous notifications to your partner(s) that they were in contact with someone (you) who tested positive for an STD and to come in for testing and/or treatment. This way may be easier for some, but they still may be able to work out that you infected them, so it’s always better to come clean. If you have unprotected sex there is always a risk of tramission, so although it’s easier said than done always be very honest with your partner(s) when you decide to have unprotected sex, or even get tested together before you decide to do so. Not only that, but you need to have good communication and honesty about other potential partners as this will increase the risks. Be direct and honest about the situation, and don’t pass blame unless you know they have deceived you in some way, and in that case, be strong and don’t have sex with them anymore. There are plenty of people out there who are on top of their sexual health and the right person will comply and not get defensive when asked of their status, or whether they gave it to you. Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, its important to test because (sorry to be cynical here) you never truly know what they are doing in your absence. I have heard countless stories of people putting their partner at risk because of their negligence and not having a conversation about it because it’s deemed scary or difficult. Often times STDs get spread because many people are afraid to have that conversation because it’s not the easiest conversation to be had,but it could ultimately save you a lot of hassle and risk to your health. If someone gets defensive or is pushing you to have sex without a condom and they’re not tested, reacess whether or not you want to engage in sexual activity with someone who doesn’t have any regard for your health. It may kill the mood, but ultimately it could save your life.
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