Anne (ajva) wrote,

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A public health announcement

OK. *sigh*

I've decided to make this a public post, because I think it's better for everybody if I do.

"One of my partners" (ridiculous confidentiality - it will be easy to work out who, but I'll follow the convention anyway) recently complained of having pain passing urine, and asked me if I had any STDs I knew of, or symptoms. I had no symptoms whatsoever.

However, having never had check ups for anything other than HIV, I thought it might be a good time to check. I got up very early on Thursday morning and went to the GUM clinic at St Mary's Paddington before work.

I tested negative for everything they can check while you wait (gonorrhoea, the long one beginning with "T", the ones that begin "vagin-", thrush etc.). However, the doctor said my cervix was a fair bit inflamed, which she thought could be indicatrive of chlamydia. It takes a week for the results of the swab to come back, but she was obviously highly suspicious because she gave me high-dose antibiotics "just in case". I am working on the assumption that they don't give out antibiotics like sweeties if they cost $US10 per capsule (I looked that up), so I think I probably did have it. It's a one-shot cure, though: you take four capsules at once, and that's it. It's that easy to treat.

Of course, it might be a false alarm, but I decided that I couldn't afford to wait to tell everyone. I have already told immediate partners. Chlamydia seems to be the STD equivalent of nits: everybody needs to get treated at the same time because it's so damn contagious, and re-infection is common. Condoms offer some protection, but not as much as against some other things. And since they don't always prevent transmission of chlamydia, even if you have always had safer sex, you still can't be sure that you don't have it. :o(

I think I gave it to my partner mentioned above, rather than the other way round. Most people with chlamydia don't get any symptoms until serious complications set in, and it can cause infertility amongst other things. Not the best STD to be hanging around a bunch of newly broody Drunk Bis, then.

If I have had it, I don't know how long I've had it for. It could be years. Anyone who has had any sexual contact with me or with people who have should really think seriously about getting checked. Personally, I am abstaining from all sexual contact until all my partners are checked and/or treated.

You can even catch this thing from oral sex. Bloody hell.

Sorry to bring everybody down. As I said, it could be a false alarm but it really is better to be safe than sorry.

I have one favour to ask, too. If anyone connected to me does have it, I'd be really grateful if you could tell me. Unless you say otherwise, I promnise to keep such information 100% confidential; I would just like to be able to trace my infection as far back as possible so that I know how far back into my murky past I have to go telling people.

Thank you.

This has been a party politcal broadcast on behalf of the Riddled With Disease Alliance.

A. xxx
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