What to do when you find out you’ve got an STI

There is nothing wrong with learning about what to do if you think you’ve got a sexually transmitted infection. After all, around half the population will, at some point in their lives, contract one. That’s a lot of people, so rest assured that it’s not weird, unusual or embarrassing. Most of these infections are completely treatable if caught in time, so discovering such a thing should not cause immediate panic or shame.

When you realise you have or might have an STI, it’s important to know how to handle it responsibly. Whether you’ve used a home testing kit or visited a clinic, here are some steps to manage the situation in a calm and sensible way:

  1. See a GP

Don’t worry about talking things through with a health care provider or GP. They’ve seen it all before, so be sure to ask all the questions you can think of to put your mind at ease. Try not to rely on a self-diagnosis from internet information, always stick to advice and treatment from a professional. If you choose the route of home testing, be sure to seek help straight away following a positive result. For London Home STI kits, visit https://www.bexleysexualhealth.org/chlamydia_screening/

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  1. Get treatment immediately

STIs have a habit of worsening over time, not to mention the danger of spreading further if you remain sexually active. If infections are left untreated, there is an increased risk of further complications and even infertility. Often, you’ll only need a course of antibiotics, so get that prescription and hand it in at the pharmacy as soon as you can. Don’t forget to look after yourself too, as infections will clear up faster if you’re sleeping and eating well and keeping yourself in good health.

  1. Tell your sexual partners

This is the hard part and the part so many people do anything to avoid. However, letting your sexual partners know is the right thing to do, for their health and out of respect. Stick to the facts, that your test was positive. They might not have it, so don’t scare them by stating they’re bound to have contracted it because you did or by blaming them for your infection.

If you can’t face this part, for any reason, there is an app which allows you to notify a person they might have come into contact with an STI and remain anonymous. This is not an ideal approach, but the bottom line is that they have been informed and that is your duty taken care of.

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  1. Practice safe sex

Always be sure to refrain from intercourse and oral sex until a bacterial infection has completely cleared up. You should always use condoms or dental dams and avoid having unprotected sex, even after you’ve had the all clear.

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