Statistics show that there are more than 20 million new STD infections each and every year, and around half of those infections occur among young people, aged in their late teens or early twenties.
These statistics make for shocking reading, but the worst part of all is that so many of these annual infections could be prevented if only more people got tested on a regular basis and actually had the courage to inform their partners about any STDs before engaging in sexual intercourse.
Whether you’re on a date with someone totally new or in a long-term relationship, being transparent with your partner about any STDs you may have is absolutely essential, both for your partner’s long-term health and the integrity of any relationship you might have.
It can certainly be quite intimidating and scary to have to break the news, and many people fear immediate rejection or anger upon telling a partner about an STD, but it’s always better to be honest and up-front, rather than keeping such an important secret from someone who is willing to be so intimate with you.
Do Your Research
A good way to prepare for telling your partner that you have an STD is actually doing the necessary research to learn more about it. There are an awful lot of rumors and myths associated with STDs, and there are dozens of types of STD, so make sure you get the facts before proceeding.
Learn about the symptoms of your STD, how it can be transmitted, and how it can be treated too. It’s perfectly possible for people with STDs to have long, happy relationships, as long as they understand how their infection works and how to manage it.
Always Be Up Front
Too many people happily go on dates and engaging in some form of sexual activity before actually confessing to their STDs. This is incredibly risky behavior, and even if you think the chances of transmission are low, it’s still not right to put someone else’s body and health at risk for your own gratification.
The best time to talk about STDs is before engaging in any kind of sexual contact, including oral sex and even kissing in some cases, for example, if you have herpes. It’s always important to be up-front, let the person know what they need to know, and then go from there.
Make The Announcement On Your Terms
Even though you should always tell a partner about any STDs before engaging in some form of sexual contact with them, it’s still up to you how and when exactly you make that announcement. Many experts recommend finding a comfortable location and preparing yourself in advance, as it can take a lot of courage to reveal this kind of news.
It’s often wise to meet in a public place where you feel safe and can choose to leave afterward, should the person respond negatively or aggressively. It might help to have the support of a friend nearby to talk to afterward if this helps you feel more at ease.
Engage In A Calm Discussion
Many people worry enormously about telling someone they have an STD. They feel like it’s a huge bombshell that could cause all kinds of issues and angry reactions, but as long as you tell the person in a timely fashion, most of the time, they’ll be willing to discuss it with you.
Plenty of people stick around with partners who have STDs, going on to have long, happy relationships, so be prepared for a calm, collected discussion. Anticipate some of the questions your partner might ask and have some answers ready, as well as questions for them about how they feel, whether they’ve dealt with STDs in the past, and whether they’d like to pursue the relationship or not.
Telling someone that you have an STD can absolutely be a scary thing, but it’s well worth doing in the long run, and you’ll feel much better about being honest and open, rather than lying to someone or keeping such an important secret from them.
In some cases, the person you tell might react badly and decide to end the relationship right there and then, but that’s okay. It just means that they weren’t the right person for you, and as mentioned earlier on, it’s perfectly possible that you’ll go on to find someone who is totally accepting of your condition and willing to give a relationship a try.