One of the most common relationship questions is: “Would you stay with someone who gave you an STD?” Contracting a sexually transmitted disease from a partner is no doubt a distressing experience. You may feel like there is nothing to do, but we at Rapid STD Testing are here to present steps you can take to manage the situation and reevaluate your relationship.
The very first thing to do is go to a doctor. A doctor can help you understand the infection and give you information about treatment plans, medication, transmission, side effects, and other medically relevant topics.
If you are not sure that you have an STD but think a partner has exposed you, you should look for clinics that offer STD testing near you. You can sleep with someone who has an STD and not get it, but the best action is to go get a test to figure out if you should seek treatment.
Generally speaking, testing clinics will ask you to take a standard 10-panel STD test. This kind of test looks for the most common types of infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
STDs are a sensitive subject and can involve a lot of anger, shame, and harsh words. The best route for both parties is to address the issue and discuss options calmly. Despite their “gross” connotations, STIs and STDs are just like other infectious diseases and are not something to be ashamed about.
It’s important to realize that contracting an STI is not a reflection of your moral worth or judgment. Any shame you two may be feeling is actually about perceptions of sex and genitalia in general, not STIs themselves. Any physical activity involves some risks, and sex is no different.
To that end, compassion in conversation is the key. Your partner is certainly feeling shame as well, so there is no need to turn a disease into a moral condemnation. If infidelity was the reason for contraction, you need to talk to your partner about boundaries and trust regarding cheating.
STIs are serious conditions, so receiving a diagnosis can be stressful. It’s essential to rely on family, friends, and others in your social network for support. There is nothing wrong with feeling distress, and people need time to process painful emotions. If you feel the need to distance yourself from your partner, that is also within your right.
You may also feel a lot of anger. Getting angry is perfectly natural, especially if your infection was the result of infidelity. Anger is a natural response to a breach of trust, and it has its purposes. But you can’t let it define your entire attitude to your condition and your partner.
You should not underestimate the utility of self-care. Take time for yourself, assess your situation, and think about ways to move forward (with your relationship in particular). There is no need to focus on blame or ruminate on feelings of self-loathing. Again, an STI is not an indicator of your value as a person or your moral character.
Did you know that over 110 million Americans have some type of STD? Moreover, 1 out of 6 people has genital herpes. That’s a little bit under 55 million people. The bottom line is: You are not alone. Millions of people live happy, productive lives with STIs, and you can rely on them for emotional support.
There are several places, online or in-person, where you can meet and talk with others who are going through the same thing. You can search for local support groups in your area if you need to speak to someone who can relate to your experience.
STIs have a negative connotation, but here is the thing: Getting an STI is not the end of the world. Many common STIs are highly treatable if not outright curable, including
Modern medicine has evolved to a point where previously untreatable diseases such as HIV are now manageable.
So—don’t let your STI start a chain of catastrophizing. Things always appear worse than they actually are when you are highly stressed, and many people tend to entertain the worst possible scenarios in their heads.
The truth of the matter is this. No, you won’t lose your job from an STI, you won’t lose your friends, and your life is not over. Help is available, and you can still have a normal, productive life.
True, your dating and sex life are going to be different from now on. But many people with STIs manage to have flourishing and satisfying romantic and sexual lives. You will be responsible for informing partners that you have an STI before you start engaging in sexual activity, and you will need frequent testing.
And yes, some people will not want to continue a budding relationship when you inform them that you have an STD. You’ll have to learn not to take those kinds of decisions personally. Any discomfort that someone might express has more to do with their attitudes towards sex and sexual health rather than their feelings for you.
You will also face the decision about whether to stay with the partner that gave you the STI or STD. If your partner knowingly exposed you to an STI without your informed consent, that is a serious breach of trust (and of the law) and may require legal action.
If your partner unknowingly gave you an STI, then the situation may be different. Whether or not you stay with that person depends on whether you feel that they are genuinely remorseful and willing to make amends—especially if it happened when your partner cheated on you.
We can’t give a universal answer here. The decision to stay with your partner who gave you an STD is personal and depends on the dynamic in your unique relationship. Even if infidelity was the cause, you and your partner can move forward and re-establish a healthy relationship. At the same time, you have no obligation to stay with your partner, either.
No, an STD does not necessarily mean your partner cheated. STIs and STDs often come into an established relationship as a result of infidelity, but not always. It is possible that your partner had been incubating the infection for a long time—since prior to your relationship—and that symptoms are just now developing. Some STIs, such as HIV, chlamydia, and hepatitis C, can stay latent for months or even years.
If your partner insists that they have been faithful to you, possible explanations could be
In these cases, your partner may have contracted the STI or STD before you began a romantic relationship. Having an honest conversation with your partner about their past sexual history and behavior may put your mind at ease.
Every relationship is different—and how each couple deals with an STI is different. If your partner was not aware that they had an STI, that could be grounds for forgiveness and compassion. Even if the infection was due to infidelity, whether or not to forgive is ultimately up to you and your partner’s willingness to recommit to you.
Generally speaking, an STI does not have to be a relationship dealbreaker. You need to sit down and have an honest and open conversation with your partner about the reality of your situation. The conversation might be uncomfortable, but it can be healthy for you.
No matter the reason, you deserve private and high-quality STD testing. At Rapid STD Testing, we make the testing process easy and discreet, from start to finish. If you want to learn more about our services or are looking for rapid STD testing, feel free to contact us online or call us at (866) 872-1888 to find our location nearest you.