Finding out that you have an STD, a sexually transmitted disease, can be one of the most difficult experiences in your entire life. However, you are far from alone. More than 65 million Americans, one in five, have an STD. Of course, STDs range in seriousness, symptoms, and contagiousness, but all are likely to make you pause for thought in terms of your sexual health and the possible implications of unprotected sex. However, it doesn’t have to mean either the end of your life, or even the end of your sexual life, rather it signals a time in your life when you have to take stock of the decisions you are making, particularly in your love life. This is the time to decide what can be done to make sure that this will be your one and only brush with a sexually transmitted disease, and that you learn safe sex for a healthy life.
The absolute first thing to be done is to determine what course of treatment can be taken. Some STDs, such as HPV, are currently untreatable, but most will require a course of antibiotic or antiviral medication. It is of course vital that you take the recommend course of drugs that a doctor or sexual health professional prescribe. For your health, and that of any future partners, you have to make sure that this disease is eradicated.For some STDs, such as Genital Herpes, and HIV, there is no known cure. For Herpes, a course of antiviral medication will lessen the symptoms and abate the disease, but the virus is likely to linger in your body forever, causing occasional outbreaks. Therefore it is important to tell future partners about the disease, even if this makes you uncomfortable. For HIV, it is obviously imperative, and in fact a legal requirement in many states, that any future partners know about your condition.It is important to remember that HIV is no longer the death sentence it was once considered. Current treatments can prevent the virus causing AIDS indefinitely and it is possible to live with the disease, as long as you maintain the correct levels of medication.
If you find out that you have an STD it is important that you tell your current partner so that they can also immediately get tested. Of course, this might also mean that you have to come clean about can you acquired the disease, if not through them. These types of conversations are obviously painful for everyone, but are necessary for everyone to be informed. It may be that you, or they, had a dormant condition that has just recently presented itself, but everyone has to be in the know for the sake of the good health of the people you love.
It may be important to go back to previous partners and talk to them about the disease also. If you did not contract the disease in your current relationship, then you may have contracted it from a previous partner, you now might be at risk. Try and find such people and tell them that you have been tested and recommend that they do also. Though again, such conversations can be difficult, in the long run it is important that people are aware of the problem.
A lot of people who contract an STD worry that it will be the end of their sexual life. However, this definitely does not need to be the case. If the condition is treatable, then as long as you take the treatment and test negative at the end, then you are free (see below) to continue with a healthy sexual life. If the condition is untreatable, then you do have a duty to tell future partners about your status. In the case of HIV, this is often mandated by law now, but morally it is wise to tell anyone that you may pass the disease to that they might be at risk.
As I say, a positive test for an STD need not mean a chastity belt for forever more. But it should act as a warning sign for the future. Safe sex using condoms is important not only to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but also to stop the spread of such diseases. If you can contracted such a disease then you are unlikely to be practicing safe sex. This is the biggest change that you can make that will negate such problems in the future.Being more open about such diseases will also help. There are now dating apps specifically for people with STDS, so that they can date and have sex with people with the same condition without fear of passing it on. However, as long as you practice safe sex and are open about past problems, there is no need to restrict your love life in future, just treat it with a little more respect.