I Have an STBBI: What Now?

Sexuality   ›   STBBIs  ›   I Have an STBBI: What Now?

 If you just found out that you have a sexually transmissible and blood-borne infection (STBBI) it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions. Here are some tips to help you manage the situation.

Finding out you have a sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI) is never fun. It can make you feel stressed and worried. You may also feel angry at the person who gave it to you or feel guilty about infecting someone else. All of these emotions are normal, and it’s OK to take time to process them.


There’s nothing to be ashamed of. STBBIs are common, and they’re easily treatable most of the time. Since there are often no symptoms, you can unfortunately infect someone without even knowing it. So, don’t take all the blame or hold a grudge against the other person unnecessarily, you probably didn’t want this infection and they probably didn’t want to give it to you.


The important thing now is to take care of yourself and follow the recommendations provided to you by the healthcare professional who contacted you, and to allow your other partners to do the same. 


Do I need to tell my other partners?

Yes, it’s important that you do. You surely appreciated being told, or maybe you wished you’d known sooner. It’s now your responsibility to pass the information on to any current or former partners with whom you’ve had unprotected sex.


Remember that you may have unknowingly passed on an STBBI to a partner, and that person may not have any symptoms, and therefore has no way of knowing! So letting them know you’ve tested positive will give them the chance to:


  • Get tested as soon as possible
  • Get treated and avoid potential complications
  • Take the necessary steps to avoid giving the STBBI to other people. This means you’re helping break the chain of transmission.


To find out how far back you need to go in your history of sexual partners, ask the healthcare professional who informed you of your STBBI.


I’m afraid to talk about it

It’s normal for it to be embarrassing or stressful to talk about. You may feel afraid of being rejected or like your being judged. Keep in mind that anybody can get an STBBI and that you’re making a responsible and respectful decision by talking about it.


To make things easier, choose a means of communication that suits you, depending on your comfort level and the relationship you have with the person it could be: face to face, by phone, or in writing. Professionals can also do this for you anonymously. If this is something that you are interested in, click here.


How do I talk about it?

Don’t beat around the bush. You can simply state the facts, “I have to tell you something. I got tested, and I have [name of the STBBI]. It’s a sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI). It’s important that you get tested too, even if you don’t have symptoms, because you might still be infected and should get treated right away.”


Of course, this is just an example. Feel free to put it in your own words so you feel more comfortable.


Don’t hesitate to contact Tel-jeunes if you need support.

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