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    How to tell someone they gave you an STI

    Updated 05 March 2024 |
    Published 16 September 2019
    Fact Checked
    Dr. Sarina Schrager
    Medically reviewed by Dr. Sarina Schrager, Family physician and professor of family medicine and community health, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin, US
    Written by Kate Hollowood
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    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    Telling someone they gave you an STI is important but not always easy. Find out how to prepare for the conversation and feel more empowered with advice from a Flo expert.

    Finding out you have a sexually transmitted disease (STI) and managing the symptoms can be distressing enough as it is. Having to then tell the person who gave it to you adds a whole new layer of stress and anxiety that you probably feel you could do without. But it’s important that they know and get tested as soon as possible, too. 

    While you may feel very alone right now, please know that you’re actually far from it. STIs are incredibly common, and chances are that many people you know have gone through something similar. Conversations about STIs and safe sex are a normal part of having an active sex life. With a little preparation and some advice on what to say from our expert, you can feel more empowered to tell someone they gave you an STI.

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    Key takeaways

    Why you need to talk about STIs with your partner (or partners)

    If someone has given you an STI that they might not know about, it’s very important that you tell them. Not only do they risk developing serious health problems by leaving it untreated, but it’s possible they might not have any symptoms and be infecting others unknowingly. In some cases, if they don’t get treated, they could pass the infection back and forth with you. 

    It can be harder to broach these topics outside the context of a committed relationship or if it’s with someone you don’t know well or trust. Depending on where you live, you may be able to access a service that will send your partner(s) an anonymous text or email to let them know that they could have an STI (take, for example, the US service Anonymous Text). 

    However, if you can, having open communication around sex and STIs will not only help you stay safe but can be key to a fulfilling sex life. 

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