It is really important if you have an STI to tell your current and former partners, to encourage them to get tested, and to avoid passing the infection around to others. But speaking up about a STI, especially to an ex, can be difficult.

Tell your ex directly:

Whether it’s a treatable infection, or a lifelong diagnosis, the best thing to do is tell your former partner yourself. You may not have had the best break up but your ex has the right to know, even if they only have a small chance of having the STI. Phoning, email or a face-to-face conversation, are the best ways to tell ex. But if you don’t want to do it yourself there are other options.

Use your local health department:

Local health departments usually ring you up if your STI results are positive, to give you the results and make sure you receive the correct treatment. The health care professional on the phone will most likely offer to tell your past partners to get tested for you, while keeping your identity anonymous, providing you give them a list of your sexual partners in the last year. If the caller doesn’t offer this service, you can just ask them for it.

Use the internet:

InSPOT, a website run by a non-profit sexual health service, allows people to namelessly alert past or present sexual partners of a STI diagnosis, shows individuals where to find more information on STIs, and encourages them to get tested.

This guest post was written by Jessica Delaney a communication student at Sheffield Hallam University.

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