Sexual Health

STIs: feelings about

Women often feel really bad about having an STI, making them feel 'dirty', 'devastated' and in need of emotional support and medical treatment. 

Mothers can be a real source of support in finding out about the problem or taking their son or daughter to the clinic, although not everyone can tell their parents. Some of those interviewed said that they felt they had to cope on their own.

Close friends can provide good emotional support. Some people said that their friends could be shocked or judgemental at first, but most were understanding once they find out more. Sometimes people only really learn about how easy it is to catch STIs when one of their friends finds out they have one.

Some people are in touch with the person they caught the STI from, some are not.  And sometimes people tend to split up or drift apart after an STI is discovered. One woman said that she had told a casual partner that she had caught an infection from him, but that he had not done anything about it.

Most people who get STIs find that it changes their attitude to unprotected sex and they're always careful to use a condom afterwards. One woman we interviewed had made it clear to her partner that if he ever slept with anyone else, he must use a condom. Some people get their partners to have a check-up before agreeing to sex without condoms.

Last reviewed January 2016.

Last updated August 2012.

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