EttieKits Guide to Telling Someone you have an STI.

Telling someone that you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) can be a sensitive conversation. Depending on your relationship -  partner, casual hook up, f*ck buddy or whatever you have going on - you can modify the tips to suit your situation. Discussing the importance of getting tested, even if they don't exhibit any symptoms, helps keep everyone safe.

  • 1. Choose the Right Time and Place:

    Pick a private and comfortable setting where both you and the other person can talk openly without distractions or time constraints. Ensure that you both have enough time to discuss the matter thoroughly.

  • 2. Be Honest and Direct:

    Approach the conversation with honesty. Use clear and straightforward language to explain your diagnosis. Avoid blaming or accusing the other person, as STIs can happen to anyone.

  • 3. Educate Yourself:

    Be well-informed about your STI. Understand how it spreads, symptoms, treatment options, and prevention methods.

  • 4. Express Empathy and Understanding:

    Acknowledge the other person's feelings and concerns. Show empathy and understanding towards their emotions, and be prepared for a range of reactions. Reassure them that you are there to support them through the process.

  • 5. Provide Reassurance:

    Offer reassurance that you are taking responsible steps for your health, getting treatment and following your healthcare provider's advice.

  • 6. Encourage Communication:

    Encourage the other person to ask questions and express their thoughts and feelings. Listen actively and without judgement. Open dialogue can help both parties process the situation and work together to find solutions.

  • 7. Offer Support:

    Let the other person know that you are there to support them throughout the testing and treatment process. Emotional support is as crucial as practical assistance.

  • 8. Discuss Prevention:

    Talk about prevention methods, such as practising safe sex, using protection, and regular STI screenings. Emphasise the importance of being proactive about sexual health to prevent future incidents.

  • Here’s a message you could use to start the conversation : 

    “Hi, this is tricky, but I've been diagnosed with [name of STI] which means you should get tested too, even without symptoms. I'm here to answer any questions.” 

  • It’s vital that all sexual activity is consensual, safe and supportive. If you have been in a situation that has made you feel unsafe and you would like to get some help, we recommend visiting TOAH-NNEST for assistance. 

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