DEAR HARRIETTE: I think I caught a sexually transmitted disease from my new boyfriend. I am so embarrassed I don’t know what to do. I had some itching, you know, and that never happened before. I like this guy, and he’s from a prominent family. Plus, my family thinks he’s “the one” for me, finally. I have to attend to this problem, but I don’t want my whole life to cave in. — Sylvia, Philadelphia, Pa.

Dear Sylvia: First, go to the doctor. If there’s even a chance you have an STD, you need to get it treated, pronto. No one has to know about your medical condition, so you can keep that confidential.

If you believe that your boyfriend exposed you to a venereal disease, face that. Don’t get caught up in this man’s background. Who is he to you? Why do you remain interested in him? If it’s because of his pedigree, is that enough to build a life with him? Answer this honestly for yourself.

I am not saying that you automatically write off the man if or because he infected you with an STD. That’s something you need to address directly with him. People live with diseases of all kinds all the time. How you deal with it is the issue. Talk to him about what’s happening. His response will tell you whether it’s worth continuing in this relationship.