Nearly a million people acquire a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) including HIV everyday world wide. In Kenya recent evidence revealed that the HSV-2 prevalence rate among the general population (15-64 years) is 35.1% and that 80.7% of HIV infected adults were also infected with HSV-2. Although STI remains one of the leading causes of disease burden in Kenya, the focus on HIV/AIDS in the last 10-15 years has overshadowed the predominance of STIs.The moment you get results that indicate you have an STI or UTI infection, your esteem dwindles and you go into panic mode feeling like the universe is punishing you for existing.
But how do you tell your partner? It is necessary to do so, so that he too can get tested and seek treatment on time. It is never an easy task but following these tips will ease the tension:
1. Prepare for your talk by researching and learning as much as you can about the infection.
2. Think of successful ways you have talked about difficult issues in the past.
3. Find a private place to talk where there are no distractions and interruptions. The last thing you want is his boys busting in while you’re having a serious discussion. It will never happen if they do.
4. Don’t disclose that you have an infection after sex. It may not be the right time. You should take caution and talk before your next passionate session. Also consult the doctor on whether it is safe to have sex while under medication.
5. Your partner may not understand that most STIs and UTIs are curable or at least manageable, so give him time to adjust to the news. You could also offer to accompany him to get a test for moral support.
6. Consider having fact sheets and websites with information on the infection at hand from reliable sources. (Doctor, nurse… etc.) This will help you both in figuring out what to do next.
So if you feel anything weird or funny with your genitalia, make sure to go get tested in a clinic near you.