Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that pass from one person to another through sexual contact. There is so much shame and stigma around STDs which makes many people feel nervous discussing it, out of fear or embarrassment. And some are just uncertain about what to say. Keep in mind that having an STD doesn’t make you a bad person, nor does it mean you are promiscuous. STDs are very common and they are among the most common contagious diseases. It is therefore important to not shy away but discuss it with your partner.
Talking about STDs with your partner shows that you care about each others’ sexual health. Talking about it makes you know what to expect and how you will stay safe, no matter the sexual activity.
GO FOR TEST FIRST: Before talking to your partner, speak with your doctor about getting an STD test so that you know your health status and risks.
ASK IN A POLITE MANNER: The goal is not to determine who has STDs or not, or who is cheating. In case you are not sure how to ask, here are some ideas you can consider; “Have you ever had an STD Test?” “Do you know if you have STD?” “When was the last time you had an STD test?” Make it straight and concise with courtesy.
SHARE YOUR OWN HISTORY: Discuss your own sexual health history with your partner. Let your partner know about your status and how you handle it, especially if it is an incurable disease.
DISCUSS PREVENTION: Safe sex takes two. Knowing what you are up against help you prepare better for it. You’ll also want to consider what kind of contraception you’ll use and if either of you is having sex with other people, which will affect how often each of you should be tested for STDs.