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Living with an STI - How to manage a healthy life???

Updated: Dec 26, 2020

When we talk of an STI, the first thing that comes to your mind is how to stay away from it,

and it is fairly easy to protect yourselves from an STI too, if you really are cautious, in this


1. Sexual abstinence is the ultimate solution to most of the sexually associated problems,

and it is recommended that one abstains from all kinds of oral, vaginal and anal

intercourse. It prevents one from STIs and nulls chances of getting pregnant too.

2. If not sexual abstinence, being monogamous is the next best solution, provided that

both of you are honest in the relationship and have got tested for STIs prior to

indulging with each other.

3. If you have got out of your monogamous relationship or frequent with sexual partners,

then the best alternative to you can be to use condoms and/or dental dams for oral and

penetrative sex. This will significantly reduce your risk of catching an STI or

transferring the same.

4. Moreover, frequently get tested for possible STIs. Discuss with your doctor on how

regularly you need to be tested based on your lifestyle and risk factors involved.

5. Get vaccinated for the HPV, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

Moving on, assuming that you do contract an STI, its always a good idea to talk to your

doctor in detail about it, and after that, talk about it with your partner.

Living with incurable STI such as, HIV isn’t as tough as you might have heard. You can still

live as long as any normal person is expected to live and still keep healthy. If you have been

diagnosed with an HIV infection, you shouldn’t delay consulting a doctor who is a specialist

in treating HIV and start your medications as soon as possible. It is well known that HIV is

incurable, yet the viral load can be kept on a low by taking the Antiretroviral Therapy

popularly called as ART. Regularly taking ART will ensure that your immune system stays

strong, you keep the viral load at a lower threshold and you lower the risk of passing on the

virus to your sexual partner or foetus, if you’re pregnant. Make sure you don’t skip your

medicine or take it at irregularly, as it might not help you in the desired manner.

When you first get to know about the infection, its understandable to feel shocked at the

revelation and you would try to figure out from where you acquired it. But its not always

healthy to find a person to point finger at for your miseries, although suggesting your sexual

partners to get tested will no less be a good deed. One should understand that most of the

people infected with an STI are asymptomatic and thus they themselves aren’t aware of

themselves carrying the infection, forget alone telling you about the potential risk.

Nonetheless if your partner was aware of their positive status yet decided to conceal the said

fact from you and didn’t care about using appropriate protection too, then you need to ponder whether the person is worth trusting in the long run or not.

There isn’t any special advice that one is given in terms of nutritional diet when one gets

diagnosed of any STI. It remains the same with you as with everyone else, eat a balanced

diet, cut down on processed foods, have a rich intake of fluids and fibres. When our digestive system is working adequately, it helps you absorb your medicines and nutrition from the food better that helps in keeping your body stronger and well prepared to fight daily infections.

Not taking care of yourself when you have an incurable STI might result you in losing muscle

mass and weight excessively, therefore it is recommended that you develop a healthy

exercising habit and routine. You can join a yoga club or a gym do other physical exercises

such as jogging to keep a healthy heart and stronger bones. After all, a healthy mind rests in a healthy body and we do want to keep miles away from stress.

However, don’t skip talking about it, whether you are infected or not, always talk about the

possibility of such an event and discuss when it’d be best for both of you to get tested before you indulge in any sexual activity to eliminate the chances of passing on the infection.

Also, getting diagnosed with an STI, curable or not, doesn’t mean that a full stop has now

come in your love life. Treat it like a comma, pause, evaluate and proceed as normally you

would. Ensure you do tell your partner about it, allow them to process the new information,

explain to them about it, clear the myths they might be having regarding it, offer them to visit with you to your doctor on next visit so that they can talk to the doctor and understand it better. It might freak them out initially, but do maintain a calm composure and try to

understand their concerns as well. Discuss with them the safe sex methods that you two need to ensure in future and offer them to use PrEP drug (available in India under the name Tenvir EM, it is a prescription drug that is prescribed by a qualified doctor to only high at risk

individuals). Using PrEP will lower the risk of contracting the HIV by 90% and clubbed with

the extra precaution of using a condom at all times when having sex it can bring down the

risk substantially.

Always be with a person who respects and supports you nevertheless and understands you. If a person judges you just because you have an STI, you don’t need to take any non-sense from them.

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