Tag Archives: sexually transmitted disease

STD Stories: Tales of What It’s Like to Contract a Sexually Transmitted Disease

People who contract STDs may feel incredibly isolated and alone at first. They have an infection or disease which automatically makes them a bigger risk to date, not to mention for intimacy.

For these people, it can be immensely helpful and heartening to hear stories from others who went through the same anxieties, stresses, isolation, and symptoms. These can be wonderful resources to help people with STDs find ways to deal with their health.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has a website called The Naked Truth, which is devoted to providing information, help, and support for people, especially young people, who may be dealing with a sexually transmitted disease, or people who think they may have one.

The website features testimonials from real people who have dealt with all kinds of situations – from cheating boyfriends to irresponsible one-night stands, to long chains of people who passed on an STD, to people who contracted an STD the first time they ever had sex.

These stories help illustrate the wide variety of situations where STDs were not expected or even considered – a complete shock to those who contracted them.

STD Testing Could Have Prevented It: Amber’s Story

According to The Naked Truth, Amber was a seventeen-year-old teenager when she caught syphilis. She had gotten it when she had sex for the first time with her boyfriend, a guy she had known and trusted for years.

The two of them had actually talked about safe sex beforehand, including preventing pregnancy. However, they neglected to talk about STDs and safe sex in that particular context. Despite this omission, they planned on being together for a long time, and both felt ready.

Amber knew that her boyfriend had had sex before, but she didn’t notice anything unusual, so she wasn’t worried. However, days later, she discovered sores on her body that didn’t go away. She was reluctant to tell her boyfriend because she was worried about blame — if he would somehow blame her. She also wondered if he knew he had an STD and kept it from her on purpose, or if he didn’t have one at all and would break up with her because of the incident.

As it turns out, Amber’s boyfriend had gotten sores after being with his last girlfriend, as well as other symptoms, like fevers and strange rashes. However, they had gone away, so he had stopped worrying about them. He said he didn’t think he had gotten it from his last girlfriend, either, because she had told him that she had only ever been with guys who promised that they had been tested.

Both Amber and her boyfriend ended up getting tested, and both were positive for syphilis, which is easily treatable. The boyfriend told his ex-girlfriend about the positive results; she got tested and ended up positive for syphilis, too.

The Problem and the Takeaway

If Amber’s story sounds familiar, that’s because, statistically, she, her boyfriend, and the ex-girlfriend are not alone. According to CNN, young people age 15 to 24 are those who are most at risk for contracting an STD. In 2015 alone, the most reported infections for chlamydia and gonorrhea were among this age group. For chlamydia, they accounted for two-thirds of all reported cases. For gonorrhea, they accounted for approximately half of all reported cases.

It’s additionally really easy to see where in Amber’s story she and her boyfriend went wrong. They had a responsible discussion about safe sex before they ever got intimate, but they neglected to discuss sexually transmitted diseases and the possible risk, let alone if either of them ever had STD testing.

What’s even more alarming about the story is the total cluelessness displayed by Amber’s boyfriend and the ex-girlfriend. Amber’s boyfriend had very strange symptoms, but he never got them checked out. On top of this, he believed his ex-girlfriend when she said she had only been with people who promised they had been tested.

What naïve teens probably don’t understand is that hormonal teenage boys will promise pretty much anything if sex is involved – even if they’re empty promises.

This is a lot of promising and a lot of believing with no action involved – an incredibly dangerous combination. Naturally, it led to a chain of syphilis passed from a random teenager to the ex-girlfriend, to Amber’s boyfriend, and, finally, to Amber.

What is the takeaway? All of this could have been avoided with proper STD testing.

Had Amber and her boyfriend been aware of the risks of STDs, they probably would have been equally careful about them as they were with the risk of pregnancy. Syphilis, in particular, is totally treatable and curable. In fact, had any of the teens been aware, the chain of transmission could have stopped much earlier.

In Amber’s case, even though she was responsible about sex in many ways, she was still not immune to an STD. It was her first time, and she still was not immune to an STD. She was young, still a teenager, still in high school, but she still was not immune to an STD.

Why STD Testing is So Important

For teens and adults in Plano, TX, getting tested for STDs could mean the difference between serious health problems down the line or getting cured. Especially for syphilis cases, when left untreated, the infection can lead to crippling deformities and mental problems (which doctors say Amber’s boyfriend narrowly avoided, according to The Naked Truth). For pregnant women, syphilis can damage their reproductive systems and cause their babies to be born with deformities.

Luckily, because the three teens in the story above were treated, each of them was cured and able to move on with their lives. The key to knowing one needs treatment, however, is getting tested in Frisco, TX, as well as Plano, TX.

Dating and STDs: How to Tell a Partner the Truth

With an STD, life may feel very different than before the disease. People may feel subject to stigma, judgments, and stereotypes. They may be hesitant to reveal their STD to anyone, especially potential romantic partners, for fear of rejection.

It can be hard to date and find the right person with an STD – but it’s not impossible. The right person will still want to be with someone who has an STD because of all of their great qualities. The STD will be just another part of life to deal with, and in exchange, they’ll get a partner who is willing to brave the hard stuff with them – symptoms, treatment, STD testing, and finding ways to be intimate safely.

Broaching the Subject of a Sexually Transmitted Disease with a Potential Partner

The right time to tell a date about an STD will be different for everyone. The main thing to keep in mind is that this is not something one should just blurt out whenever the mood strikes them. It’s a delicate topic that affects quite a few aspects of dating and intimacy and should be approached with care and consideration.

To that end, people should wait until they have formed a bond with someone they’re dating before they have a talk. They should get to know each other and genuinely like each other. That way, the other person can weigh whether or not they are willing to stay against how much they like and enjoy spending time with the affected person.

When the time comes for the affected person to sit down and have a talk with their potential partner, or the person they’re dating in Frisco, TX, there are three general rules for doing so:

  1. It should be at a time when a bond has formed, but things have not gone any further. This way, the other person can walk away without too much heartache on either end, but at the same time, there is still good reason to stick around, because of genuine like and attraction.
  2. Always have this conversation before getting intimate is even on the table. If a person tends to get intimate first and build the relationship later, they need to rethink that approach now that they have an STD – it’s just not safe or responsible anymore.
  3. Never have this conversation when things are starting to heat up. Not only is this unfair to the other person, it’s exactly the wrong moment to drop a bomb because emotions are already heightened.

Tips for Psyching Up to Have “the Talk” About STDs and STD Testing

Many people will probably feel really nervous about revealing their STD to their potential partner. They may stress about being judged and rejected.

The thing is, rejection is a part of normal dating. Everyone gets rejected at some point in their life, and it’s never the end of the world. Better to get rejected now and find someone better than stay in a relationship that is not built on trust. If the worst-case scenario happens – for instance, if the other person is mean, insulting, or refuses to listen to anything else the person with the STD has to say – then they are probably not worth the time, anyway.

There are some ways to make having the talk easier besides getting comfortable with the idea of rejection:

  • Meet up in a place that feels safe and neutral. This will make the person who has to break the news feel more comfortable and in control.
  • Practice on a willing friend or family member. Play out different scenarios (rejection, acceptance, confusion, etc.) in order to get a good feel for what to say in each instance.
  • Keep calm and speak with confidence. This is a fact of the affected person’s life, not something to apologize for. The goal should be to impart information so that the other person can make a good decision about the relationship that feels true to their needs.
  • Don’t expect a bad response: the worst is more likely to happen that way. Instead, people with STDs should assume they will be accepted – this will influence how calmly and confidently they will speak, not to mention help them avoid approaching the topic like an emotional wreck.
  • Come prepared with information about the STD: how it’s transmitted, what the symptoms are like, and the risks for the other person. Having reassuring information ready can help, too, such as ways to take precautions to prevent transmission, as well as alternate ways to be intimate that are not risky.
  • Accept the outcome. Many people will not stay after hearing that the person they’re newly dating has a sexually transmitted disease, but, on the other hand, more will be willing to work together and be understanding for the sake of a promising connection.
  • Whatever their choice, it is theirs to make. If the other person seems to be acting hastily, the affected person can offer to give them time to think, but it’s best to remember that their ultimate decision may still be rejection.
  • On the other hand, a “yes” may feel wonderful and like a huge validation, but it does not equal a good relationship. The STD will still be a standing issue for the two people who are involved, and they’ll still have to figure out ways to handle it together responsibly.

Dating and STDs don’t have to be mutually exclusive in Plano, TX. Finding the right person might take more work, but if the affected person doesn’t give up, the odds are more likely that they’ll run into someone who will be crazy about them, infection or no infection. The bottom line is that the right person will not run and hide, but will stick around because they see a future together first and foremost – not a problem they have to deal with.

Dating with STDs in Plano, TX, and How STD Testing Helps

There’s no way around it: dating with an STD is difficult. The person with the STD is faced with a lot of tough questions and delicate situations.

When do they bring it up with a potential partner? Do they say something early on and get it out there? Do they wait until the relationship is steady and committed? What if their date won’t accept them or want them after they know about the STD? Is the affected person still lovable?

These are all valid questions. However, straight off the bat, one thing should be clear: dating with a sexually transmitted disease may be tough, but it is not impossible. Lots of people with STDs are in happy relationships, or have no trouble dating. Their secrets and solutions contain wise advice that is worth following.

Advice for Dating with an STD

Fight the Stigma

Having an STD comes packaged with stigmas and stereotypes. People may be worried what snap-judgments others will form when they know. Some may worry that other people conflate STDs with risky sexual behavior, and thus will end up thinking of the affected person as a slut or a lothario.

While risky sexual activity is indeed never a good idea, and often does lead to transmission of STDs, that is not the only way they are spread. Nor are they limited to certain types of people, including those who have multiple sexual partners without much emotional attachment.

Be a Good Example

The best way to fight the stigma and change people’s minds is to be an example. The affected person can’t control how others think. They can only control their own actions. They should let others know in a way that is to-the-point, informative, and calm. If the other person doesn’t react well, they’re probably not a good fit, anyway.

Talk to Others with Similar Hurdles

Another good way to fight the stigma associated with STDs is to gain back confidence. Affected people can join support groups where people with STDs build each other back up and talk through difficult situations, such as dating, when they need advice. Talking to others who have been there and successfully emerged on the other side can be incredibly valuable and rewarding.

Be Open, Honest, and Straightforward

The right moment to talk about an STD while dating someone will be different for everyone. It depends on how the two people mesh together, and how open with each other they are. The person with the STD must also gauge their level of comfort with their potential partner, not to mention their own level of comfort with speaking out.

Some people prefer to open up about their STD before any intimacy, emotional or physical, can occur. They like to lay all the cards on the table, so to speak. Others prefer to wait to see if there is a deeper connection with the person they are dating, and if they feel safe disclosing the information.

However, when the time comes, it’s best to be open and honest, and always let a partner know about an STD before any intimacy occurs.

Meet Each Other Halfway – STD Testing and Prevention

Plenty of people are perfectly okay with dating someone with an STD. They just may need some precautionary measures in place, things that both parties agree to, in order to feel secure in the relationship, not to mention secure about intimacy.

Have Conversations About Intimacy

For instance, before intimacy, it is a good idea to talk about how things will work. What protection can be used, how do both partners ensure the lowest risk for spreading the infection, and what are the risks that the non-affected person is willing to take for the sake of intimacy?

Make Compromises

Different people have varying comfort levels. For a person with herpes, their partner may ask them to get on a daily drug that suppresses the virus, for instance, for them to feel comfortable with intimacy. Someone else may ask their affected partner to always wear protection, even if they are between outbreaks.

For those with a bacterial infection, their partner might ask them to get STD testing in Frisco, TX, before they are intimate, just to get confirmation.

Of course, meeting each other halfway needs to be reciprocated. In order for the affected person to feel accepted, they might need extra reassurance from their partner, or support while they are getting treatment. If a person isn’t willing to do these things, then they might not be the right one.

For Healthy Dating with an STD, STD Testing is Vital

Dating with STDs in Plano, TX, doesn’t have to be an ordeal. There are basic things that an affected person can do to ease the necessity of informing their date or potential partner about their STD.

However, the one main thing that a person can do, both for themselves and others, is get tested. If a person has a bacterial infection like chlamydia, they have to get tested more than once, anyway, in order to make sure the infection is totally gone. Others who suspect they have an STD need to get tested in order to come at relationships from a healthy place: with full knowledge about their own health and how it may affect their potential partners.

Knowledge about all aspects of a person’s health will lead to open conversations and realistic expectations. Both parties will be able to protect themselves better if they have all of the information at hand. This goes for the person on the other end of the stick, too: each person needs to be tested so everyone knows where they stand, and where they can go from there – together.