How do I tell someone I have an STD??

How hard is it to tell someone you have an STD?  It is probably one of the hardest conversations you can have.  It gets even harder if you have to tell your partner that you have an STD that can’t be cured.

I’ve met with a few people who have STD’s that can’t be cured.  Herpes Simplex Virus, HPV, HIV, and Hepatitis B & C can NOT be cured.   If you are already in a relationship, it can be terrifying to tell the person you love that you may have infected them with an incurable disease.   That is why it is so important to be tested before being sexual in a new relationship, but this does not always happen.  Telling your significant other that you have an STD can put a huge strain on the relationship.  Trust issues come up and grief has to be addressed.  If it can be proven that you got the STD before the relationship started, it can help ease the trust issue.  Sometimes, that is how someone finds out their significant other has cheated on them.  Most of the time cheating on top of an STD leads to a breakup situation.

In most cases, HPV and Hepatitis B or C won’t cause any long term effects.  HPV is usually fought off by the body within a couple of years and usually is caught before it can cause cervical cancer in women through a pelvic exam.  Only rare cases of Hepatitis cause long term health effects.  Herpes is hard for people to accept because it doesn’t go away and can be easily transmitted sexually even when a person isn’t having any symptoms.  HIV is obviously more life threatening and the news is often terrifying.  That is why STD testing and using condoms every time you have sex is so important.

The psychological and emotional effects are sometimes worse than the physical.  The partner who was given the STD has to work through the initial shock, anger and possible depression.  It can be hard to accept but some couples now realize that they can’t reinfect each other and go on to have a healthy sexual relationship.   Forgiveness is possible with strong communication and trust in place.  It is emotionally hard because it isn’t something people often talk to others about.  Some couples may decide not to tell anyone else and only have each other for support.

The other side is finding out you have an incurable STD and you aren’t in a relationship.  I see people who feel so ashamed that they are afraid to start a new relationship.  The conversation about their STD with someone new paralyzes them.  I work through a lot of self esteem issues and guilt with people to help them forgive themselves.  A lot of people say they feel gross and contagious.  It is hard to confidently put yourself out there to meet new people when you feel this way.  We work on focusing on other things they have to offer in a relationship.  After awhile some people who are tired of being alone may venture out, but it is still very intimidating.  They have often been alone for a long time and have a lot of anxiety about being with someone again.  I have had some people go onto dating sites for people who have Herpes Simplex Virus or HIV to find others who are already infected.  This has helped some people find satisfying relationships.  But for many, they continue to be alone for fear of that dreadful conversation they would have to have with a potential partner.

So please be smart about your sex life.  If you don’t have any STDs, be thankful and continue to practice safe sex.  Get tested to avoid the devastating consequence of spreading an STD to someone else.  If you have an STD that is incurable, life isn’t over.  Many people are living happy, healthy lives and many people are in relationships.  For more information please see the following websites listed below.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm

http://www.herpes.com

http://hpv.com/pdc/hpv/index.jsp

http://www.hiv.com

After reading this over, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t really tell you how to actually have the conversation.  I wrote a new post to correct this error.  Please click on this link to go directly to the new post:

https://collegerelationships.wordpress.com/2011/o5/23/telling-the-one-you-love-you-have-an-std

One comment on “How do I tell someone I have an STD??

  1. Pingback: Telling The One You Love You Have An STD | College Life- Sex and Relationships

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