When you’re still enjoying a budding relationship with your new partner, the last thing you would probably want to talk about is HPV, herpes, and syphilis. Still, this is something that you both need to address regardless of how awkward it may be to ask your partner to take an HIV and STD screening. Here, we’ve listed some tips on how you can more comfortably talk about sexually transmitted diseases with your partner.
How to Talk About STD
1. Ensure That You Know Your Status
Before talking to your partner about their sexual health status, ensure that you know yours. Make sure that you’ve gathered all the necessary information about your sexual health status from your trusted GP clinic.
But if you haven’t been tested yet, then it’s the perfect time for you to do so, since a lot of people don’t realize that they have already acquired STD. If you can’t seem to afford to get screened, or if you don’t know where to get it done, consider getting a referral from your gynae or check out the internet to find a women’s health clinic in your area.
2. Open the Conversation
Never be ashamed to talk about your sexual health with your partner. If possible, go to anonymous hiv test center in Singapore and then after getting the results, initiate the conversation to show your partner just how poised and in control you are. Make sure that you bring up the topic when you’re both relaxed and can devote your attention to the conversation, as your mood and attitude might influence how your disclosure will be received.
Also, ensure that you do it in a private place, but not during your intimate time together. Keep in mind that talking about STD screening and HIV testing with your significant other is completely normal and necessary, but it can be a complete mood killer if you do it in the midst of passion.
3. Make the Conversation Seem Casual
If you act like it’s fine talking about STD screening, then your partner will probably also feel okay opening about his own status as well. Do it by casually opening up the topic like it’s not a big deal at all. Explain that you’ve been tested in the past, and share what the results were like you’re discussing an exam that you took last week. He will surely feel more relaxed to talk about his own status knowing that you’re honest with yours, and that you’ve established a judgment-free zone.
4. Plan Ahead
Not that confident to talk about STDs with your guy? Consider writing down a script and practicing it. Start by pointing out the strength of your relationship, and write something like: “I really love you, and I think I can trust you with anything. So, I’d like to tell you something that’s a bit personal. I once contracted herpes. So now I’m very vigilant about sexual health…”
5. Just Ask About It
Stop beating around the bush, and just ask your partner about his STD status. While some studies provided by health experts in Singapore show that most people lie when asked about their STD status, there are still many who are quite honest about it – and your partner might be among them. Just be direct with the topic to minimize feeling of awkwardness caused by tip-toeing around the issues, and to also leave no room for misunderstanding between you and your partner.
6. Listen to What Your Partner Has to Say
Once you’re done sharing the details about your STD status, stop talking and let the other person share his thoughts and own experience. Let the ‘talk’ be a dialogue, and not a lecture. If he’s still not ready to share details about his sexual health, let him be – just be clear that you and he won’t be having any sexual congress until he does. Give him the time he needs to mull things over, get more information, and be clear about his feelings and sexual history.
7. Plan Out Your Next Step
After you’ve had your discussion, it’s time to plan your next steps. If he has also been tested, decide what you will both do next. If not, put safety first and give him the support he needs to get tested. Let your partner know that you’re willing to accompany him to a men’s health clinic. If he refuses to go, then reconsider if this is the person you really want to be involved with.
8. Talk About Prevention
There are certain steps that you can take to protect yourself against STDs, such as getting vaccinated against HPV. Still, safe sex takes two persons, so ensure that you and your partner are in agreement of using contraceptives and preventing STD transmission. Using condoms is a good way to show that you care for each other’s sexual health. So do use it until you’re really sure about each other, and your STD statuses.
What Prevents You from Discussing STD
While it’s advisable to discuss STD with your partner, there are still some things that might hold you back from having this kind of sex talk. Here are a few of these deterrents:
• Issue of Politeness. One reason why couples hesitate talking about this topic is because they find it to be impolite. Most are afraid of insulting their partners by insisting on using a condom, or by asking about the other person’s past sexual history.
• Fear of Breaking Up. Another reason why STD or HIV testing isn’t talked about in most relationships is because of the fear of breaking up. After all, a miscommunication might occur and your partner might get offended of the reason why you’re bringing up this topic.
• Myth of Spontaneity. Most of us believe that sex should just happen, romantically and mysteriously. However, sex is a lot better and safer if its’ planned ahead – enough to avoid any danger and regret over acquiring a disease or getting pregnant.
Discussing STDs with a new partner can be quite difficult and awkward. But by following the aforementioned tips, you’ll surely be able to openly talk about this sensitive topic, while keeping you and your partner protected from any sexually transmitted diseases.