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That fear comes from stigma, which can only be reduced by educating people and accepting as a society that STIs are very, very common." It's best to approach the conversation pragmatically and succinctly in a safe space with few distractions, Pierce said.
"Give the person space and let them take a day or two to circle back with questions.
The experts I contacted point out that someone who knows that they have an STD is more likely to be aware of their sexual health.
"People who are openly STD-positive are the people you should least fear," Robbins said.
"It's the people who say they're negative -- but maybe they're only assumed negative or maybe they've just never been tested -- who actually pose the most risk." It's also worth educating yourself about that risk.
"A once-daily preventive medication called Pr EP is now available for people who are in a relationship with someone who is HIV-positive," Alberda said.
"After my first rejection, I remember thinking, 'That's it, I won't ever be able to be in a relationship anymore. I won't ever be a mom.' Those fears and insecurities even lead me to neglect letting some partners know of my diagnosis in a timely way.
"I've found that refusing to pursue someone's approval or acceptance of my chronic condition is the way to go," he explained.
"Attempting to validate myself through another person's acceptance is pointless.
But a lot of trial and error later, I figured I would rather be rejected while having done the right thing than accepted but having neglected their consent.
One of the craziest parts of this story is that it took place at one of NYU’s medical facilities.
Being safe means taking personal responsibility and getting tested regularly in order to be up to date on the status of your health." "But it's also about being honest about your sexual health, and the longer you wait to tell someone you're positive, the harder it will be.