How to Talk to Your Partner About STDs

young woman and man talking at a table

Mature, committed relationships are often accompanied by a series of tough conversations. For many people, the least comfortable is around sexual history and STDs. Still, it’s a topic you owe it to each other to discuss. A little preparation can go a long way towards making it a productive talk that brings you even closer together.

Be Prepared

When it comes to your health, knowledge really is power. Before talking with your partner, do your homework about common STDs and STIs (sexually transmitted infections), how to limit your risks and where you can be tested to ensure you’re both infection-free. Some STDs and STIs present few if any symptoms, allowing people to carry and transmit them for years without even knowing.

Choose the Right Time

This is an important talk, one you should have when you’re both clear-headed and ready to engage in a mature conversation. You should ideally find a time when neither or you are impaired, stressed, tired or rushed. Don’t procrastinate with the excuse “it just wasn’t the right time.” Make the time before you make a mistake.

Talk Honestly

Your partner deserves to know about any STDs or STIs you may have contracted in the past. Even if you were never actually diagnosed, but had some reason to fear you may have contracted an infection, now is the time to share that truth. Hopefully, your partner will respect your candor and do the same. If he or she doesn’t volunteer his or her own information, ask directly, and explain how important it is for your relationship that you’re given an honest answer.

Suggest Next Steps

Regardless of what you think you know about yourself or your partner, it’s always a good idea for both parties to get tested for any sexually transmitted infections. Hopefully, you’ll learn for certain that you’re both infection-free. If you then remain in a committed, monogamous relationship, you can expect to remain STD- and STI-free for the rest of your lives. If, on the other hand, you encounter a positive test result, you’ll be able to research and understand the realities of the infection so you can make informed choices together.

At Sira in Gainesville, we offer free testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea – the most commonly transmitted sexual infections in the U.S. All test results are 100% confidential, and if you need further tests for other STIs, we will refer you to a community partner for treatment and additional testing.

Contact Sira today at 352-377-4947.

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