Positive Life NSW Blog

Let them know on your own terms

Posted by on in Treatments

IMAGE: Attractive bare-chested man with armband tattoo

Remembering a recent hot fuck session is fun, getting an STI diagnosis not so much.

Besides the hassle of seeing the doctor and getting it sorted, I just want to feel better and for the discomfort to stop.

At first.... I feel relief. I can’t wait for the antibiotics to do the job. Almost immediately, along with the reprieve, I feel guilty. Then overwhelmed.

Who have I unintentionally shared the infection with? How far back do I go? Was it the hottie from Scruff? Or the big cock from Grindr? Do I contact the guys from two days ago, or the past three months? Hell, I don’t even have names or contacts.

Thinking about the next step - letting mates, partners, fuck buddies and/or injecting partners know they might have been exposed to an STI, HIV or HCV is daunting and confronting. How do I tell, what do I say and who can I trust? How are they going to react? Are they alright?

For anyone in the pursuit of pleasure, telling partners after an STI diagnosis can feel difficult and messy, an unwanted complication. ‘Giving it a miss’ is the easy way out. While most of my partners have taken the news well, with caring and compassion, there was one who threatened to report me to police and another who unloaded a stream of abuse.

Back then, while I knew I could notify partners through an anonymous SMS from a website, or the nursing staff at the clinic offered to do it for me, there were a few fuck-buddies I preferred to talk to myself. While I was sure the nurses at the Clinic knew their stuff, I didn’t want them to be a part of the conversation. I wanted the right kind of understanding, preferably from someone who had been in my shoes.

Positive Life has a number of experienced peers involved in the peer-led partner notification which offers the support I once wished for. Someone who’s been in my shoes and can support me when I’m ready to tell a partner or fuck-buddies about a STI diagnosis. Regardless of the STI, sharing this kind of news with sexual or injecting partners in our own time, on our own terms, and in our own way means staying in control.

Whether you want advice on how to work out who you need to talk with, brainstorm some ideas, or rank the order of risk among your casual or regular sex partners, reach out. Being in control of your sexual health, means feeling better about yourself, and your partners and fuck-buddies are likely to respect your disclosure.

If you want more information or if you have any questions or concerns, call the Treatment Officers on (02) 9206 2177 or email contact@positivelife.org.au

Anonymous SMS or Email notification resources:

 

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