Sharing the Status of Your STI with Your Partner
The disclosure of STIs has been relegated to the grey area by sex field researchers. They have an opinion that it is of personal choice whether to inform your partner of your STI status or not. The opinion from this expert has, unfortunately, contributed to the stigma and shame often associated with herpes and other STIs when people don’t disclose their status. Many herpes activists firmly believe that there’s no ambiguity when it comes to disclosure, especially for those involved in non-monogamous relationships.
Regardless of whether you’ve tested positive for herpes or not, engaging in conversations about your sexual health and disclosing your STI status is crucial for obtaining informed consent from your partners. Keep reading to understand precisely why discussing your sexual health and STI status with your sexual partners is essential.
How to correctly inform your partner of your status
Engaging in sexual activities with our partners might feel less daunting than discussing our sexual health with them. It’s common for people to find these conversations awkward, embarrassing, or even scary. While these feelings are valid and understandable, they often stem from internalized fears and societal stigma related to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). With effective communication skills, you can navigate these discussions.
To get ready for these conversations, the initial step is to be aware of your own STI status. If you’re struggling with how to inform your sexual partners about your STI status, here are some strategies to make the process smoother:
When to inform:
It’s best to disclose your STI status before engaging in any sexual activity with your partner, whether it’s vaginal, anal, oral, or even mutual masturbation.
Choose an appropriate time, place, and setting for this conversation. For instance, sharing this information right before your partner leaves may not allow for a meaningful discussion.
Where to inform:
Ensure you are in a safe, private, and comfortable environment when discussing your STI status. This conversation can take place in person, over the phone, or through text, depending on your comfort level.
If you find yourselves in a passionate moment and intend to have sex, it’s crucial to take a step back and have a brief conversation. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose the mood, but it demonstrates respect for your partner, which they are likely to appreciate.
How to inform:
To effectively communicate your STI status to someone, it’s essential to be straightforward, honest, and confident in your approach. Here’s a breakdown of how to do it:
- Express Care for Their Health: Start the conversation by showing that you genuinely care about their well-being. You can say something like, “I care about your health, and that’s why I want to talk to you about my STI status.”
- Share Your Test Results: Proceed to inform them about the results of your recent STI test. Be specific about which STI you have, if applicable.
- Mind Your Language: It’s crucial to use language that doesn’t stigmatize or create unnecessary guilt or shame. Avoid words like “good,” “bad,” or “dirty.” Instead, use neutral terms like “negative” and “positive” when discussing test results.
- No Need to Apologize: Remember, you should never apologize for your STI status. It’s not something to be sorry about, and it’s important not to blame yourself or make the other person feel responsible for your situation.
In summary, prioritize clear and compassionate communication when discussing your STI status with someone. This approach helps reduce stigma and ensures both parties can have an open and understanding conversation. Discussing STIs is always a challenging task. Whether you’re in a committed relationship or casually dating, broaching the subject of your sexual history can be an awkward, uneasy, or even embarrassing experience. While STIs might not be the most appealing topic, conversations about your sexual history are essential for safeguarding the well-being of both you and your partner. STI is still very much a stigma in society, wherein there might be intense feelings of shame upon diagnosis. However, when involved in sexual relations with anyone, it becomes the responsibility of oneself to inform the partner of one’s STI status, to prevent the transmission of the same to them. Being sexually aware is necessary and so is being respectful of others.