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How do I tell my partner that I have an STD?

Even though a lot of people have sexually transmitted infections, talking about them can be tough. Here are some tips to help start this conversation:

  • Practice having the discussion without your partner and say the words out loud. What do you want to say? What are all the possible things your partner could say?
  • Try to have this talk when you both have time and privacy.
  • Remember that your partner cannot read your thoughts. It’s important to talk about what you want and how you feel. It’s important to listen to your partner, too.
  • If you’re feeling nervous or embarrassed, tell your partner. Maybe your partner feels the same way you do. Sometimes sex is hard to talk about, and it’s okay to admit that.
  • Ask how your partner feels about this conversation. Being honest with each other can make a relationship more fulfilling.
  • If it’s an ordinary bacterial infection like chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis, make sure your partner gets tested and treated, too.

    If it is a virus that needs to be managed in the future, such as herpes or HIV, talk with your partner about how you both can agree to do that.

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