Although it is estimated that almost half of the world’s adult population will catch an STD at some point in their lives, it remains a dicey topic for most couples. And this includes even the most progressive and ‘liberal’ modern societies. Reason being; we might have made some considerable progress in health care and medicine, but STDs still carry with them the unmistakable stigma of being labeled promiscuous, ‘easy’ or even plain careless. Still, you have a moral obligation (if not a legal one) to disclose the status of your sexual health to your prospective partner before intimacy. If you’re presently in such a situation, then here’s how to proceed.
- Make Inner Peace with Yourself First
You have to confront your fears and insecurities first before subjecting the same to the other party. Therefore, you have to come to terms with the fact that you’re infected with a possibly untreatable/incurable STD before opening up to him. This also means that you must also have taken the necessary clinical curative measures to rid yourself of it, or at least, manage the infection. It is only after accepting your situation and reconciling your conscience with your present circumstances that you can muster enough courage to face your boyfriend.
- Introduce the Conversation Subtly
Truth be told, it is not easy (or even polite) to spurt out the words, ‘I have an STD” without introducing a ‘cushioning’ preamble unless you are dating someone you met on a dating site specifically for STD personals. Not only is it embarrasing but also quite uncomfortable. The best approach would be to introduce the conversation subtly while steering him gently into a setting that allows you to open up about your positive status without feeling guilty, awkward or embarrassed. For instance, start with something such as, ‘ I recently started blogging about genital herpes or HPV as a side hustle….” Actually, you don’t have to rehearse the entire conversation in advance, just know where to start and the rest will flow as your confidence builds up.
- Be Prepared to Answer the Barrage of Questions that will Follow after your Disclosure.
Men are generally inquisitive and naturally curious. This is why the disclosure part is not the hardest part while disclosing one’s STD positive status. Rather, it is how well you can handle the barrage of questions that will follow the aftermath of the confession. Be patient with them, and try to understand where they are coming from – especially if you have not yet known each other for a long time. They will inquire about a myriad of subjects regarding your health status; try to answer each of them as truthfully, accurately and objectively as you can.
Best of luck.