How to talk to your partners about STDs

You want to make sure your partner has been tested:

It’s best to talk to your partner about STDs before you have sex for the first time. This way you can talk about using condoms before you get lost in the heat of the moment. You can bring it up by asking something like, “Have you ever been tested for STDs?, or “I just got tested last month (or whenever you got tested). When was the last time you got tested?”

You have an STD, and want to tell your partner before you have sex: 

First, talk to your doctor about what you can do to protect your partner. You should also tell your partner before you have sex with them. This may be a hard conversation to have. We suggest that you practice having the conversation with a friend, or even with yourself in the mirror. You can say, “Before we have sex, there’s something you should know.” Let them know that you take medication, or use condoms, and ask them what they feel safe doing.

You just got diagnosed with an STD, and want to tell the people that you are having sex with or had sex with when you were infected:

At the time that you are diagnosed with an STD, your doctor or nurse may talk to you about telling your past and current partners. For some STDs (like HIV and syphilis), the health department will tell your partners for you.

There are also websites that can help. Visit to get help telling your partners that you have been diagnosed with an STD.