Last Updated on June 4, 2020 by Saurabh Sethi, MD, MPH
It’s so refreshing to read about partners and family members who remain open-minded when an STD diagnosis occurs and/or who do not treat their loved ones differently when they learn about their infection.
More often than not, I find couples who have a healthy, established relationship are able to move past an STD diagnosis and very rarely is the uninfected partner overly concerned about contracting the infection. Some level of concern and precaution is understandable, as no one wants an infection if they can help it, but my experience has shown that with education, communication, and consistent prevention, an STD doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker or alter the level of intimacy between partners.
1. How old are you?
2. What do you do for a living?
Student and working in a gym
3. What STD/STI do you have/have you had?
4. How long have you had or known you have an STD/STI?
5. Do you know how you contracted this STD/STI?
I’ve been with my partner for a year. He has no visual symptoms.
I was getting a cold sore on my lip for the first time, did not know since I never had one before, and we kissed before he performed oral sex on me. Maybe I gave it to myself?
6. How has your life changed since you contracted an STD/STI?
The only thing that has changed is how I see myself. On good days, I tend to forget I have it and feel completely fine, until my partner wants to have sex. Then, I get nervous and tell him I’m not in the mood when, in reality, I am just really afraid.
7. Do the people who know you have an STD/STI treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?
My parents and my boyfriend know. I’m blessed to have all of them in my life. They do not treat me differently and, actually, don’t see it as a big deal at all.
8. Are you currently under treatment for your STD/STI? If so, please share whether you have explored prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or holistic and natural approaches.
I was on Valtrex for my first outbreak. The doctor gave me a refillable prescription and told me it is up to me whether I want to take it everyday or only when I feel an outbreak starting.
9. Has having an STD/STI hindered past relationships?
It has not hindered the relationship I am in, not in the least bit.
10. Do you have a significant other? If so, how has this STD/STI affected your partner?
My partner took the news a lot better than I did.
After seeing it with his own eyes, he feels that the internet and sex ed classes in high school made it seem 10 times worse than what it really is.
He is not worried about getting infected because he says, even if he does, it is more of a nuisance than anything else, and he wants to be with me regardless.
My HSV hasn’t changed anything in his eyes.
11. Have you been sexually active with someone since contracting an STD/STI whom you did not tell you had an STD/STI?
Nope, he knows about it.
We waited until the outbreak cleared up, and I am still on Valtrex. We were protected (condom and he kept his boxers on – his boxers have a hole on the front…well, you know the rest).
12. How have you changed as a result of contracting an STD/STI?
Really, the only change is psychological. I’ve been depressed and anxious. I’m constantly worried about being contagious to the people I love. It is a nagging feeling.
I’m surrounded by people who don’t care and don’t see it as a big deal.
I hope one day I will feel that way too.
13. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with us?
My greatest reassurance was in knowing that I am not alone. Whoever is reading this, you are not alone.
And, this blog is really, really helpful. I am still going through the articles and learning as much as I can.
It does make a difference.
Can you relate to this interviewee? Did it help you to read someone else’s story? Have you experienced something similar or do you have some feedback to share with this individual? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!