Dating, relationships

Should I Tell Him I Have an STD?

Dear T,

I have a dilemma, and I’m hoping you can help me out with it.  See, I’ve been dating this guy for about 2 months, and he finally told me he is ready to have sex.  I usually wouldn’t wait 2 months to have sex with someone I’m in a relationship or whatever with, but this guy is special.  Well before we take it there, he wanted us to get tested together.  Unfortunately, I just got my test results back and apparently I have syphilis.  Of course I’m going to get treatment, but am I obligated to tell this guy.  As long as I put off having sex, take the antibiotics, and get better, does he have to know?  Btw, his tests came back clean.

Curious Mike

Dear Curious Mike,

Thanks for writing to me.  I’m sorry to hear you got some unwanted news.  I’m sure you were bummed to receive this diagnosis.  But if you just have to take antibiotics, then you should consider yourself blessed that the doctors caught this in the early stages.  Some folks who contract the disease aren’t as fortunate to catch it that early, and suffer some drastic medical hardships.  So let’s be happy for the obvious silver lining in this situation.

It appears that you really like this guy, and are hoping to build something solid with him.  If this is the case, then you can’t build on a shaky foundation.  Meaning, you don’t really want to start lying.  If I were in your shoes, I would somehow muster up the courage and tell him.  Like you, I would be nervous and apprehensive about sharing, but if I want something to work, I have to be upfront.

And in this day and age when medical privacy is held in high regard, I understand you want to keep this nugget of truth to yourself.  It’s your body and your business.  You probably are thinking, if you just prolong having sex with dude until you are able to let the antibiotics run their course, and get checked out by the doctor again, then you can keep your mouth shut.  Theoretically that is true. HOWEVER, if this person is ready for sex, and knows you’ve been ready for sex, you all of a sudden backing off from jumping his bones is going to come off very suspicious.  You don’t want to have to come up with one lie after another as to why you don’t want to have sex with him.  So just tell him the truth.

Now if you are worried you may lose him, I’ll tell you this.  Relationships will all have their rough patches, highs, and lows.  That’s just how they work.  This will be one of those lows for you and this guy.  If he likes you as much as you like him, he will want to ride this storm out with you.  He probably will be stunned by the news initially, but in the time it takes him to process the news, he will appreciate your honesty.  And honesty can be super attractive.

Suggestions going forward.

  1. Make it a habit of practicing safe sex. You wouldn’t knowingly go out the house without an umbrella or raincoat if you knew the forecast calls for rain.  So apply that rationale to sex.  If “showers” are predicted, have some protection.  Plain and simple.


  1. Do yourself and your previous partners a favor, and share with them the urgency that they get tested. I know that takes some balls, and you may face some judgement.  But syphilis can have lasting and damaging health effects if not caught early.  I recently was made aware of a site that will help you inform past partners via an anonymous service, to make it easier.  Check it out! (Don’t Spread It)


  1. When you decide to tell your current partner, do so in private. And prepare to give him a little space initially to digest the news.  Again, if you two are vibing like you think you are, he won’t take too much space and time.  He’ll want to stick with you.


As always nothing but love,


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