You Deserve a Happy Ending-Day 4, Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Here is the truth: According to the Center for Disease Control, 8 out of 10 people with an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) have no initial signs or symptoms.  That is something to really consider.  Here is a blurb from their sight on the most current statistics.

“STDs are a significant health challenge facing the United States. CDC estimates that nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in this country, half among young people ages 15–24, accounting for almost $16 billion in health care costs. Each of these infections is a potential threat to an individual’s immediate and long-term health and well-being. In addition to increasing a person’s risk for acquiring and transmitting HIV infection, STDs can lead to severe reproductive health complications, such as infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia primarily affect young people While surveillance data show signs of potential progress in reducing Chlamydia and Gonorrhea among young people aged 15–24, both the numbers and rates of reported cases of these two diseases continue to be highest in this group compared to other age groups. Both young men and young women are heavily affected by STDs — but young women face the most serious long-term health consequences. It is estimated that undiagnosed STDs cause 24,000 women to become infertile each year.”

This information can be found on: http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/std-trends-508.pdf

Seriously consider the risk.  Think about how this would affect you.  It’s important.  I sit with many young adults in tears because they have contracted an STD.  It’s nothing to take lightly.  If you have one, you know what I am talking about. If you have had sex with someone other than a virgin please get tested.  Ask specifically what they are testing for and request additional tests such as HIV, herpes, and HPV.

Most recently I have heard Herpes cases:

  • An 18 year old virgin got her first boyfriend, lost her virginity, and contracted Herpes.
  • 20 year old girl had sex for 20 seconds, contracted Herpes.
  • 23 year old virgin had oral sex with her boyfriend, contracted Herpes.

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are curable, Herpes is not.  The problem is if Gonorrhea and Chlamydia go untreated it leads to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which leads to infertility.  So please take care of yourself and get tested.

So, you have an STD?

Now what? What in the world are you going to say to the potential love of your life?

Well, I’m sure there are many ways to go about telling someone you have an STD, however, not all of them will help you keep the other individual. This not a guaranteed method, by any means; it’s just what I think works best.  In the end, only you will know what works best for you, but in the meantime, you can try this approach.

  1. No Text Messages, Emails, or Snapchats

First of all, it is my belief that any mode of telling someone you have an STD other than face-to-face is bad form and would give that potential someone all the more reason to say, “I’m outta here.”

Taking the technology approach just won’t cut it. Besides, even though the conversation is tougher/more embarrassing in person, it provides you an opportunity to gauge their initial reactions and it allows them to see how sincere you are. Where you tell someone you have an STD is just as important as how. What I mean is, the place you choose to sit someone down to have this conversation should be fairly neutral and a calm atmosphere.

With that being said, a coffee shop may not be your best option…

I suggest making a special trip over to the individual’s home while they were alone and not in a hurry with the pretense of, ‘Hey, can I drop by for a few minutes, I’d like to chat with you about something?’

Telling someone in the comfort of their own home or in private serves two purposes. It allows the person an opportunity to react how they would naturally without being influenced by on-lookers or having to fake it. This also the individual to be in a comfortable environment to ask as many questions as they like or do their own private research without pressure.

  1. Be Honest, Positive, & Resourceful

In sharing your having an STD, it’s incredibly important you’re as honest as possible.

How long have you had it, what you have learned from the experience, how hard it has been at times, what it means for your health?  It’s okay to get emotional.  This can be an embarrassing and scary conversation to have and re-telling your story generally re-surfaces some old emotions. So just be real.

From there, share the facts and figures and let them ask whatever questions they’d like to know. Give them the information you know, what your STD does and doesn’t mean for you, also share with them some of the resources you have used to gather your information. Letting the person know there’s a lot of information on the web and encouraging them to do some research on their own is always great. This lets the individual know you respect their opinion and that this kind of decision takes some thorough consideration.

Then…

  1. Give Them Time

Everyone is different.

Some people may respond immediately with an incredibly surprising, “You mean, that’s all you had to tell me? So what? This doesn’t change how I feel about you.” Others will need more time to digest, to come back and ask questions, and then to digest some more. Because of the “taboo” nature of STDs, it’s hard to decipher how anyone will react.

As a result, it’s nice to let them know they can have as much time as they need.

In the end, some people may choose not to continue the relationship.

This is an understandable reaction even though it will probably break your heart.

Should someone choose to end the relationship as a result of your STD, know it actually has nothing to do with you. They were scared – rightfully so – and the relationship had not developed enough for them to be willing to take the risk. Sucks, yes, but it’s not the end of your dating career and it means you’re still awesome despite your STD.

When Do You Have To Tell Someone You Have An STD?

People who take the approach of letting someone know as soon as they start dating tend to feel less frustrated when a rejection occurs as a result of disclosing their STD status. Whereas, the people who choose to wait until they’ve developed some trust and can foresee the relationship going to the next level emotionally tend to have better results maintaining the relationship. However, those same people are liable to be more hurt when the person they are dating chooses not to take a risk and ends the relationship. This is generally because the person with the STD has also begun to invest their emotions into the relationship.

Even though it’s hard what would you do if the shoe was on the other foot?  Try to at least understand for them.  At least you are being honest.  They may not get that same kind of respect with the next person they date.

For more information on Sexually Transmitted Diseases: http://www.cdc.gov/std/general/default.htmchlamydia

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