Ask Shan Tell'emJET Love

Love Advice: To Tell or Not to Tell?

Dear Shan Tell’em,

I have a bit of a dilemma. A friend of mine is sleeping with a mutual friend of ours, who happens to have an incurable sexually transmitted disease. I did not find out about the STD from my friend, but through someone else who she recently had relations with who went to the doctor because things were not right down there. 

Anyway, I’m looking at my friend sideways because I didn’t think she would withhold this type of information. And I’m pretty sure she hasn’t told my friend, but I feel he needs to know! So what should I do?


To Tell or Not to Tell

Dear To Tell or Not to Tell,

WOW! This is super sensitive information that can have devastating effects on all of the parties involved if not handled delicately. If I were to take a gander, I’d say that everyone involved is grown. With that being said, a level of individual responsibility comes into focus when engaging in sexual activity. Now I’m not going to act like I don’t know how things work when it comes to sex. You don’t always have time to get those test results, but you should always use protection. I know that isn’t a way of life for some, but we aren’t dealing with folks who are children. What your friend did was very irresponsible, and unacceptable. She is compromising the health and lives (depending on what type of infection she has) of everyone who she has engaged in sexual activity with. But, I can see why she withheld the information. Having an STD can often make one feel ashamed, dirty and less than worthy. But that still does not warrant not telling.

I agree. Someone needs to say something, but should it be you? Probably not. How can you REALLY be so sure that your male friend who is sleeping with her doesn’t know? Sounds like a lot of hearsay is happening in this situation. What I recommend is that you ask the person who told you if they have plans to confront her. If anyone should be doing the talking, it’s him. I hope your friend gathers the courage to be more honest with her sexual partners if this is true. While it is difficult, they will respect her in the long run. Things happen, and no one actually sets out to get an STD. Love just might be out there for her without deceit paving the way.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

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Shantell E. Jamison is a Chicago-based writer, radio personality, and cultural critic. She’s also JET Magazine’s Digital Content Editor. She’s been featured on WBEZ 91.5FM, “The Monique Caradine Show,” Vocalo 91.1FM, KDKA Newsradio 1020AM, WBGX 1570AM, WYCA 102.3FM, Chicago Now, The Grio, The Black Youth Project, The Gate Newspaper and “Launching Chicago with Lenny McAllister.” Her debut book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self” is available now at