Finding out you have an STD isn’t easy, but you’re not alone. 1 in 2 sexually active young people will get an STD by the time they’re 25. If you’ve been tested and know you have an STD, you’re already ahead of the game by being aware of it.
Most people don’t know; which is why it’s so important to get tested regularly. The good news is that many STDs are curable, and all of them are treatable. We want you to get the most out of life -- and keeping yourself healthy is a crucial part of that. So without further ado, here is your STD study guide!
What to do when you find out you have an STD
+ Go to the Doctor
This def isn’t the time to pull the covers over your head and hide. If you don’t seek treatment, you’re risking your own health as well as the health of your partner(s). Not all STDs can be cured, but they can all be treated; there are even meds that can help people with HIV live long, healthy lives. Getting more info will totally put your mind at ease and help you figure out your next steps. Your doctor is there to help you; he/she has heard it all before so it doesn’t have to be intimidating. We’ve also broken down what to expect during your visit.
+ Tell Your Partner
Breaking bad news, especially to someone you care about, is tough. No doubt. But it’s important that you take charge of the situation. Your partner will probably have a ton of questions, like you did when you first found out. Having all the facts will put their mind at ease and boost your confidence when talking to them. Encourage them to get themselves tested and use a condom every time. Check out GYTnow.org to study up and always be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.
+ Wrap it Up
Condoms are the only way to effectively prevent pregnancy and STDs. It’s crucial that you protect yourself (and others) by using condoms each and every time, from start to finish (no excuses!). There are some cray condom myths and misconceptions out there though, so be on your game and read up on the dos and don’ts. Got an old condom that’s been hanging out in your wallet forever? Toss it. There are plenty of places to buy new condoms (or snag some free ones).
OK, so this time around you weren’t able to prevent contracting an STD, but there doesn’t have to be a “next time.” Make a habit of getting yourself tested and make practicing safe sex part of your lifestyle. There are a ton of resources and support available, check out more here.