What to do if you have been diagnosed with an STI.
If you have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI or STD), you are not alone. STIs are very common, and all STIs are treatable. Many are completely curable. Even STIs that are not curable can be treated and the symptoms managed with medicines.
Which STIs are curable?
Common STIs that can be cured with antibiotics and other medicines include:
- Crabs (pubic lice) and scabies
- Trichomoniasis (Trich)
Common STIs that cannot be cured, but can be treated, include:
- Hepatitis A, B, and C
- Herpes Simplex Virus
- HIV and AIDS
- HPV and genital warts
Telling your partner
If you have been diagnosed with an STI, anyone you have had vaginal, anal, or oral sex with may also be infected. Telling your sexual partner(s) if you have an STI is very important so that they can get tested and treated.
If you don’t tell them, they may pass it to someone else. They are also at risk of developing health problems if they have an STI and it goes untreated. They could even pass the STI back to you after you have been treated.
However, telling partners isn’t easy. Here are some options to consider:
- Tell them in person. Prepare well and think about what to say in advance.
- Have a health care professional tell them for you. They will contact your partner and your name will not be mentioned.
- Use an anonymous online service such as inSPOT.
- Tell them with a health care professional present at a joint appointment. The health care professional can answer any questions that come up.
Get ideas for what to say to your partner if you choose to tell them yourself.
Life after treatment
Not all STIs can be cured with treatment. If you have been diagnosed with herpes, HIV, hepatitis B, or another STI that cannot be cured, there are supports and resources available. It will help you to have as much good information as possible.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Having an STI is very common and does not make you a particular kind of person.
- You can still have sex (practicing safer sex can reduce the chance of passing an STI on).
- All STIs can be treated and the symptoms managed. A health care provider can talk you through your options.
Get information and advice about living with an STI.