Hayley* is a 20 year old Sydney resident who recently caught the common STI, Chlamydia. Today, she opens up to how she contracted the disease, how she treated it, and everything in between!
*names have been changed to protect the identity of the individual involved.
Q. Tell us how Chlamydia came about?
A. I had a one night stand, I was lazy, didn’t use protection, simple as that. When I think back to how easily it could have been prevented I want to slap myself!
Q. When did you realise you had caught the infection?
A. I had no symptoms actually. I was actually very sick with the flu and had to go to hospital to do a few tests. They were able to detect my STI when I had to urinate into a cup for other reasons. If I didn’t fall sick, I probably still wouldn’t know I had it.. that’s the scary thing. It would have affected me more. I was very lucky.
Q. Have you spread the infection to anyone else?
A. Unfortunately, yes. I’ve had a few sexual partners these last few months and of course I would have informed them of my infection if I had known, but I didn’t. The thing is that I am too embarrassed to tell anyone about my infection I had, so my previous sexual partners probably still don’t know. Which means it’s spreading even more. I don’t know what to do and it has been getting me down.
Q. Is there any advice you would give to other girls and boys out there?
A. Yes. Always use a condom, do not be lazy. Even though I have treated my infection, I still have to live with the fact that I caught chlamydia and it honestly makes me feel sick!
Q. If you could go back in time and change your decision, would you?
A. Of course! Chlamydia is not only damaging to my body but it is also a huge embarrassment. I would feel so humiliated if people found out. At least I have learnt a lot from it. I would never, alcohol in my system or not, have unprotected sex again with a stranger.