If you have an active STD, it's generally a good idea to wait and sort out the infection before you start dating new people. However, how much you should wait before dating a partner is a completely different question.
How long you should wait between dating partners to avoid sharing STDs depends on several factors. These factors include the type of STD you have, the treatment you are taking for it, and the disease's prognosis. Your potential dating partner's STD status may also affect this decision. There are currently no set guidelines on how much exactly you should wait, but it's generally acceptable to wait until the infection clears before you start dating someone new.
If you want to know how much you should wait before you find someone new to date if you have an STD, read more below to find out exactly how these factors should affect your decision.
HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT BETWEEN DATING PARTNERS TO AVOID SHARING STDs?
Let's say that you were in a relationship which has now ended. You are looking for a new person to date, but you are also responsible and understand the dangers of spreading STDs. So you want to know how much you should wait before finding a new partner to minimize the risk of spreading STDs.
First things first, whether or not you should wait before finding a new date depends majorly on whether or not you currently have an active STD. STD testing is, therefore, the first step for you. Even if you don't have apparent symptoms, testing for common STDs is always a good idea.
If you are diagnosed with an STD, you might want to think about waiting before you find a new partner. The first factor that affects just how long you should wait before dating again is the type of STD that you have.
Bacterial STDs are generally less dangerous, self-limiting, and curable. If you have gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis, or any other bacterial disease, you might not have to wait long before you can start dating again.
Usually, after taking the appropriate treatment, you'd have to wait at least 3 months before getting retested. After 3 months, if you get a negative STD test result, you can start seeing new people. However, it's a completely different story if you have a viral STD.
Viral STDs, like HIV and herpes, are incurable. Therefore, there is no set time limit after which you can start dating again. The decision to date new people again will almost always carry the risk of STD transmission to your new partner(s) but there are ways of lowering this risk.
People with viral STDs often have to take anti-viral drugs for life to suppress the disease-causing organisms. While their medication may lower the viral load, the measure of how much viral particles are in the blood, down to insignificant levels (signifying minimal risk of STD transmission), there is still a risk of STD transmission no matter how insignificant.
Therefore, if you have a viral STD, you might have to talk to your potential partner(s) about it and let them make an informed decision about their life.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY PARTNER IS EXPOSED TO AN STD?
People with STDs need to remain careful about STD transmission at all times. Their partners are at constant risk of acquiring STDs from them during sexual intercourse. Sometimes, this risk becomes a reality, and people with STDs often end up sharing their disease with their partners.
If your partner has been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease that you might have during sexual intercourse, the first step is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Your doctor will run some blood tests and also examine for any signs and symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases. They may also refer you to a specialized STD clinic for exclusive STD testing.
Remember, most STDs cannot be ruled out with a single negative test result. So your doctor might have to repeat some STD tests as well. During this time, your doctor may ask you to refrain from any sexual activity.
If your test results come back positive, your doctor will prescribe medications. Take these medications regularly for as long as the doctor has prescribed. Once you've taken your medication for the set period, your doctor will repeat the STD test once again to be sure that it has been eradicated from your system.
Only resume sexual activity until your doctor tells you it's safe. Moving forward, you and your partner might have to take extra precautions to remain safe during sexual intercourse, including using condoms each time you have sex and getting tested for STDs regularly.