I have an STI. How do I tell my partner?!

If you do have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) then you need to tell the people you could have possibly infected so they can get treatment too. A healthcare provider can help you figure out which partners you need to tell based on when you last had sex with them.

If you go to a clinic and get treatment for an STI, they will usually give you a slip to give to your partner(s).You will usually be asked to take that slip home and give it to your partner or partners so that they can go to the clinic and get the same treatment as you. This is very important because if they are not treated, they’ll probably infect you again with the same STI after you’ve completed treatment. Their health is also at risk, so they need to know what’s going on.

It’s natural to feel worried, embarrassed, and even scared. But to protect your partner, it’s a conversation you need to have.

Here are some ideas on how to tell your partner:

  • It’s best to be direct. You could start by saying, “Before we have sex, I want us to talk about STIs and protection because I have an STI.” Say what type of STI you have.
  • Let the conversation continue naturally. Listen rather than doing all the talking. Prepare for your partner to be surprised. Each person reacts differently to the news. Some might be full of questions. Try your best to be honest and answer these. Some might just need some distance to think. Some might get angry.

If you’re worried your partner may become angry or aggressive, you can ask your healthcare provider if you might be able to bring them to the clinic so that you can tell them together.

If you would like to talk to someone for advice on how to talk to your partner then loveLife is here for you.

loveLife Call Centre: 0800 121 900 (from any Telkom public phone)
loveLife Pls Call Me Service:
Vodacom: 1400833231023#
MTN: 1210833231023#
Cell C: 1110833231023#
Telkom: 1400833231023#

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