eHealth, Interpersonal Communication , ,

How do you tell someone when you have an STI?


1 in 2 people will contract an STI by the time they reach 25 and 20 million people in the United States contract an STI each year (and those are only the ones that get reported). So what happens when YOU get one?

Step 1: Take care of your own health

Go see your medical provider and get the care that you need. Many STIs (like chlamydia and gonorrhea) are easy to test for and are curable especially if you catch them early. So don’t be afraid of making an appointment to get help.

Step 2: Share the news

All STIs are more dangerous if you don’t know about them, so it is very important to tell anyone who may have been exposed. You can tell them directly in person or over the phone, or via email or text. If you are having a hard time telling your sexual partners directly, you can use these resources.

  • So They Can Know: This website helps alert sexual partners about potential STI exposure and provides additional resources. You can send an email anonymously send an email or you can also use tools on the website to support you when you tell someone in person.
  • inSPOT: This website lets you send e-cards about STI exposure either with a short personal message or anonymously. You can even email up to six people anonymously to let them know that they should get tested.
  • Don’t Spread It: This website lets you anonymously email or text a sexual partner with information about the STI they may have been exposed to. You will need to create an account but don’t need to include any personal information or contact information.

Remember, that STIs can happen to anybody. Learn more at the STD Project. The website and all those listed above have all sorts of useful resources like where to get tested and what will happen during testing and have answers to any questions that you could possibly have about STIs.

  • jesspikowski

    This is a great use of e-health and technology- I love the idea that you can send anonymous messages to people, especially because it's such a sensitive topic. I'd love to see some stats on how these resources have helped lower the spread of STIs and increased testing rates!

    However, with most anonymous systems, I do also worry about people abusing the system and sending people messages to harass or scare others, but it seems like in this case the pros outweigh this con.