So you’ve got chlamydia?

So you've got chlamydia

We’ve all been there. Ok, not all of us, but certainly a good few. Chlamydia is the most common STI’s in Australia and travels around the country more than Healthy Harold. Chlamydia is one of the sly STI’s, it creeps up on you, because (more often than not) it’s symptomless. Males and females both act as carriers, however if chlamydia goes undiagnosed in females it can lead to eventual infertility. Another fun reminder to get routinely checked! Chlamydia, like Netflix and chill or TikTok trends exists mainly in the world of the young, with the average age bracket ranging from about 15-25.


So, who gave you chlamydia?

It seems, or at least it did in my experience that no matter how safe your sex is, it is still very possible, and even probable to contract STI’s. For me after a period of strictly safe sex I went to my GP for some routine checks and discovered I had chlamydia. Perplexing indeed. This leaves one in a pretty tricky situation; because of the safe nature of the sex, I had no idea who I could have contracted chlamydia from. So what ensues is a very fun conversation with your doctor about getting into contact with previous partners. This process can sometimes prove difficult, but there are ways around the awkward call to an ex.


A Melbourne based website called ‘Let Them Know’, allows you to contact previous partners anonymously, and let’s them know that someone they’ve been with has tested positive. Now this is a great tool to use in hookup culture or in certain cases where anonymity simply works best.  These measures are all well and good, assuming you know a previous partners contact details. But we’re all adults here, and let’s face it, sometimes you might not even know their name… perhaps it just didn’t quite stick after asking for the third time in the Uber ride home.


So chlamydia is bringing you more shame than a Sunday morning?

Why does contracting an STI’s still make us feel ashamed and dirty? Surely STI’s are sexy because it means your actually getting laid, right? Better than sitting at home with your cat, and the ice cream box of Ben and Jerry’s you swear your going to put back in the fridge… Unfortunately this isn’t the reality. No matter how sexually progressive we seem to be getting, there is still an undeniable stigma surrounding STI’s. It is an outdated and ridiculous notion that contracting an infection somehow says something about you or your character, especially for the sexually autonomous. However we undoubtedly feel shame. Shame, for connecting with another person: an occurrence, which is rather void in the current climate. Shame; for creating a sex life in which you can experiment and develop experience? These sound like wins in a world plagued by stigma. Shame has no place in a healthy and consensual sex life. So remember if you get chlamydia, it all goes away with just one little pill and a little patience, no shame in that.



So, I had chlamydia,

but It’s been a while since I contracted it, I remember getting rid of it quickly: downing one little pill on the way to work. It wasn’t a huge deal, after the pangs of initial shame, so much so, that I left the medication packet lying around in the car for weeks. I’m sure my Dad loved finding that when he used the car. However I only communicated my experience to a close friend who I knew had had it before. A few years later, and (dear god) hopefully a little wiser, I now tell all my friends if it comes up in conversation. It’s still not something I exactly scream from the rooftops, but it’s not something that I find even remotely embarrassing. I now know a handful of my close friends have also had it. In communicating with friends we find connection, and even education from each others mistakes. Communication and education are key, and unfortunately my high school sex education just didn’t quite cut it. The whole putting a condom on a banana scenario only goes so far, and leaves pretty large gaps for people who intend to experience sex outside of our traditional heterosexual norms.


So, you’ve had chlamydia?

There is no shame in it. But for those of us who choose a sexual life, let’s do it responsibly. If a partner tries to have sex with you without protection, because it ‘doesn’t feel as good’, just remember sex with someone who says shit like that probably won’t feel good either. So let’s aim to chose our sexual partners wisely (even if you don’t know their name), practice safe sex and get regularly checked, because chlamydia (like Christmas sweaters) is a gift no one really wants to receive…ever.


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