Considering how rampant sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also known as (STDs) are, it’s crucial to discuss them regularly and enlighten on the need to speak up if they have one. Many young people are battling with STIs but are scared of speaking up because of the stigma attached to them.
Dealing with STIs can be a lonely affair. However, you should know that you’re not alone. There are several networks and agencies where you can meet with experts who are ready to listen and advise you. More importantly, they can help you get tested and treated. To find them, you can start by visiting any reliable STI testing clinic near you. For example, Portland STI testing clinics provide a range of services which includes giving you tips on how to promote your sexual health. Keep reading to discover more about breaking the stigma of STIs and promoting sexual health.
Importance of Breaking the Stigma of STI
Many people hide their status for fear of being shamed. The stigma around STDs and STIs may keep you from getting tested, which will also delay your treatment and make it worse in most cases.
STI stigma can also make it difficult to tell your partner(s) about your status. This would make them get infected too, and the cycle will continue. The myths about STIs often make it hard for victims to speak up. However, these are just myths and are far from being true. Below are some of the myths about STIs:
- Having an STI means you’re dirty
- You can’t get an STI as a gay woman
- Your sex life will be ruined if you have STI
- HIV is always deadly.
How to Deal With STI
After testing positive for an STI, you need to find as much information as possible about it. This can help you overcome any form of fear and confusion. Having the right information will also boost your confidence and make you bold enough to get help.
Speak Up Early
If you’ve got an STI, the vital thing to you should be getting help as soon as possible. Hiding the truth may cause you more discomfort, or you may also infect more people. However, who you talk to is also crucial. Ensure you only talk to people who have your best interest and would give you the necessary support.
Date People With the Same Diagnosis
Having an STI doesn’t stop you from dating; however, it’s better to date someone who has the same diagnosis. If you feel awkward bringing up the topic, you can join a match site for people with STIs.
Join a Support Group
Being in the midst of people of the same status is another way of easing your fears and boosting your confidence. Just like any other support group, you can get the support you need when you’re with like minds.
Seek Medical Attention
While you can get information about the diagnosis from the internet, having a one-on-one discussion with a medical expert will go a long way in helping you get the best treatment. Online information may not be particular about your specific needs, but your doctor will speak to you directly and give you the right treatment. You can also ask questions about anything confusing.
In addition, your medical expert will also give you different treatment options, tell you how not to infect others, and how to prevent more infections. In a case where a primary healthcare provider is unavailable to you, you can consult any sexual health clinic around you.
How to Talk to Your Partner About STI
The earlier you let your partner know about your diagnosis, the better it is for both of you. Although you may lack the courage to tell them or even the words to say, the following tips will make it easier for you:
- Be composed and confident. If you act or look scared, your partner may also find it more traumatizing.
- Be as honest as possible with your partner. Let them know the exact STI you have and how you got it, if possible.
- Visit a healthcare provider together. This is especially true if you are in a serious relationship with a long-time partner. Your healthcare provider will be able to advise you both on how to live a full life while you receive treatment.
If you or someone you know has been battling with STI, it’s essential to speak up, face your fears, and get over it. With the right people and a reliable medical practitioner by your side, you can get the right treatment and live an amazing life afterward.