How to talk about STDs

  • By Team TDO

These are dangerous times that we live in. Just the sheer number of people affected by sex related problems, diseases and conditions all over the world is simply terrifying. AIDS, venereal infections like syphilis and gonorrhea, herpes, HPV etc. are rampant and it calls for some responsible sexual behavior. However, that’s a utopian world where humans will be monogamous and will behave responsibly. Even single people might get exposed to these diseases through indulging in risky sexual contact.

Imagine doling out $750,000, as a woman in the US got from her husband because he gave her herpes. Even if you are not held legally accountable, what about moral responsibility to own up and discuss a possible STD infection with your partner!

Take the case of Jack a happily married man for ten years who had casual sex when out of town on an official trip. He showed no obvious symptoms of any infection but in a month, his wife showed signs of herpes and his marriage crumbled as his wife struggled to come to terms with her husband’s obvious infidelity and his callous manner in exposing her to a serious sexual infection.

Call it ignorance but sometimes a person might engage in sexual intercourse and contract a disease which he might even not be aware of until the symptoms start appearing.

(Refer article on Syphilis on

By then, he might have, in all probability, passed it on to his regular sexual partner or spouse. Or perhaps, there is another possibility that the person knows that he has contracted a sexual infection but doesn’t know how to break the news to his partner. If a person is aware of his infection, yet exposes another person knowingly, it is akin to premeditated murder. Yes, it is going to be a difficult thing to tell your partner which might even signal the end of the relationship or cause severe strain on it.

So, if you are caught in a situation like this, what would you do? The option would be to visit a sex therapist and confide in him and then take an appointment for both and let the professional break it to the partner. That is of course if you are in a stable relationship. For those who both party to casual sex, the infected person generally won’t be that open about his infection and may even choose not to care particularly if the other person is a complete stranger.

A report in MedlinePlus news reveals some more shocking statistics:

  1. Many people said they occasionally, rarely or never got tested before having sex with casual partners (50 percent) or long-term partners (39 percent).
  2. Of the people who did discuss STD testing, very few discussed concurrent sexual partners or when partners' testing occurred in relation to their last sex act. Only half explained what types of STDs their partner had been tested for. These issues are important components of assessing STD risk, the researchers said.
  3. About one-third of participants reported telling a partner they didn't have an STD even though they hadn't been tested since their last sexual partner.

One U.S. woman was awarded $750,000 in court from her ex-husband because he gave her herpes, and the legal trend is to make people accountable.


Remember even wearing a condom is not a 100% guarantee that the infection won’t pass on to the other person but that’s the least that you can do if you don’t have the courage to spill the beans about your condition.

If you feel that your partner may be indulging in sexual activity with multiple partners and if you feel he might be infected, then you are well within your rights to decline to have sex with him until he/she gets tested. If you notice sores around the genitals do not indulge in oral or anal sex or any kind of sex and insist on a condom always; it could save your life.