How To Talk About An Std

Women's Dating

How to Talk About an STD

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

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Probably the most sensitive conversation one can have with a new romantic partner is the one that shares information about a sexually transmitted disease.

It is a brave and responsible person who cares enough about the health of his or her lover to have this important conversation.

To help you out, here are a few do’s and don’ts so this tender talk is accepted with compassion:

1. Give as much information about the STD as you can.

Be prepared with medical data on occurrence rates, means of (and prevention of) transmission and health consequences.

Your new partner will be more open to exploring sexuality with you if you have responsibly researched the problem and are ready to take steps to protect them.

2. When to tell them.

Don’t put anything about your health status in an online profile or mention it on the first few getting-to-know-each-other dates.

You must trust someone before you reveal this important part of yourself. Your STD isn’t your entire identity. It’s just one special aspect of the whole you.

Wow them with your winning personality and kindness and make sure they are trustworthy before you have this intimate conversation.

“Waiting until the last minute

is not being considerate.”

3. Have the conversation before you have a first kiss.

Depending on the nature of your STD, you may be contagious through blood that might be in saliva or a mouth sore.

It’s important you not scare your new romantic attraction by having the conversation too late and making them wonder if they have been exposed already.

4. Don’t have the conversation in bed.

This talk should happen long before people get naked and are aroused. Waiting until the last minute and hoping the person is so aroused (or drunk) that they won’t care is not being considerate.

Remember you are not alone. One in five adults in America has herpes and having herpes doubles your chance you can become infected with HIV.

Approximately 2.4 million people in America are currently infected with chlamydia, the leading cause of genital and eye diseases in the United States and it’s very common in teen girls.

Since most men do not show symptoms of chlamydia, yet still can transmit the infection, it is important sexually active people of both genders get regular medical screenings.

And that’s how to be a responsible sexual partner.

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