Coping with an STD and Support

It’s traumatic to find out you have an STD. You might be angry if you feel you’ve been betrayed…or you may feel ashamed if there’s a chance you infected others. At worst, an STD can cause chronic illness and death, even with the best care in the world.

Between those extremes is a host of other potential losses — trust between partners, plans to have children, and the joyful embrace of your sexuality and its expression.

Here’s How You Can Cope

  • Put blame on hold. Don’t jump to the conclusion that your partner has been unfaithful to you. One (or both) of you may have been infected by a past partner if you weren’t both tested at the beginning of your relationship and prior to engaging in sexual activity with each other.
  • Be candid with health care workers. Their job is not to judge you, but to stop STD’s from spreading. Anything you tell them remains confidential.
  • Contact your health department, Indian Health Services, or another provider on this list. Although they may not have the staff and funds to offer some of the comprehensive services you may expect, most local health departments maintain STD programs that provide confidential testing, treatment, and partner services.
(Made possible by the Mayo Clinic)

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