Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

It's traumatic to find out you have an STI. You might be angry if you feel you've been betrayed, or ashamed if there's a chance you infected others. At worst, an STI can cause chronic illness and death, even with the best care in the world. Between those extremes is a host of other potential losses — trust between partners, plans to have children, and the joyful embrace of your sexuality and its expression.

Here's how you can cope:

  • Put blame on hold. Don't jump to the conclusion that your partner has been unfaithful to you. One (or both) of you may have been infected by a past partner.
  • Be candid with health care workers. Their job is not to judge you, but to stop STIs from spreading. Anything you tell them remains confidential.
  • Contact your health department. Although they may not have the staff and funds to offer comprehensive services, local health departments maintain STI programs that provide confidential testing, treatment and partner services.
Feb. 23, 2013