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How can I tell a new partner that I have an STI?

Published : Monday June 20, 2011 | Posted in : Sexual Health
Talking couple

New relationships are complicated and scary enough as it is, without having to deal with telling a partner you are about to start a sexual relationship with that you have an STI. However, these situations don't have to mean that end of a relationship, or leave you feeling embarrassed and vulnerable.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way of telling a person you are about to sleep with that you have an STI. Openness and honesty when the time is right is the only way to ensure that when you do have sex it's consensual and that both of you are comfortable with what's about to happen.

Timing is everything, so don't wait until you are both sexually excited and in the moment before you mention anything. These are important decisions and therefore you need to leave your partner time to think. The best time may be to talk about it is when you think that your relationship is going in a more intimate direction, this way you avoid making your partner think that you are avoiding sex with them.

It may be that your partner brings up the topic first, which is perfectly reasonable, especially considering the prevalence of STIs today. However, if you have to start the conversation you could start off by saying that you would love to be intimate with your partner, for example, but that you wanted them to first know that you have an STI. You may also want to include a small, but tasteful amount o humour to help ease the tension and make things easier for both of you.

It's important that you are relaxed when you tell you new love interest, as it can help create an atmosphere that encourages questions, which can help you relay information that is important for them to know. Try not to be too clinical, but maybe do your research so that you are prepared.

Having an STI that can't be completely cured, like for example genital herpes, doesn't mean that you can't have a normal, happy and fulfilling relationship with someone. If you are unsure about how best to have sex to avoid spreading an STI to your partner, go to your nearest GUM clinic or speak to your doctor. They may advise you to avoid having sex at certain times or adjust how you have sex, which may not be as much of a 'passion killer' as you may think and could make things more exciting.

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