Nobody likes starting the awkward conversation that you may have exposed someone to an STD. No matter how hard it is, though, it has to be done. We have created a way to anonymously send a previous partner a text notification of potential exposure.
You should still speak with a past partner directly to inform them of their risk, however.
Required by Law
Having exposed someone to an STD means you are required by law to inform them about their risk. Failing to inform them makes you willfully negligent. Not to mention, you are allowing them to potentially unknowingly infect all of their future partners.
Suggestions for the STD Exposure Conversation
Having to tell someone that you might have given them a STD is a scary proposition that you probably want to avoid. You should take responsibility, face the facts, swallow your pride, and have the talk.
Keys to an effective and painless conversation:
- Do not beat around the bush. Start with the news: “I have an STD.”
- Be direct about their exposure. “I may have exposed you to an STD.”
- Tell them which STDs you have tested positive for and which you tested negative for. “I tested positive for chlamydia but negative for gonorrhea, syphilis, and herpes.”
- Apologize and give them next-step options. Do not leave them wondering what they should do next. Giving them a path will help calm their mind and give them direction. “I’m sorry this happened, but you should get tested. I scheduled my test through STDCheck if you don’t want to make a doctor’s appointment.”
- Excuse yourself from the conversation. With news like this, they will probably not want to talk for very long. Their mind is racing with what to do next and who they might have exposed as well. They don’t want to catch up. “Again, I’m sorry, but I wanted to make you aware. I have to get going.”