Largely, those misconceptions prevail because of a lack of information. Folks are unaware of how likely they are to contract an STD, and instead of taking responsibility for their sexual behavior, they blame those who have contracted an infection.
The process can be frustrating, and an incredibly adverse reaction from a partner has the potential to create intense insecurities and doubt. Not everyone responds in such a way, but that knowledge often does little to eliminate the self-loathing and pain that an uneducated response elicits.
Thank you, interviewee, for sharing how you were treated so others will know they are not alone.
1. How old are you?
25 years old
2. What do you do for a living?
I have a degree in psychology, but currently, I am looking for employment.
3. What STD/STI do you have/have you had?
4. How long have you had or known you have an STD/STI?
I just found out yesterday and took the medication for it (antibiotic Zithromax).
I’m happy it is curable, but I am also extremely sad and depressed about the whole situation, as I had to tell my partner, and he didn’t react very well…..
5. Do you know how you contracted this STD/STI?
I was tested in July 2013 and tested negative. I was with my ex-boyfriend at the time; we broke up in November.
I then moved and started to see another man, who I really like. I was offered free STD screening through a clinic I go to, so I said yes. I found out yesterday that the test was positive for Chlamydia. My current significant other and I discussed our sexual history, and I knew that he had recently been tested. I am the only person who he has had sex with since he was tested, so I think that I got it from my ex boyfriend, who I now know, after doing some digging, cheated on me with two different woman.
6. How has your life changed since you contracted an STD/STI?
I have only slept with one person since I left my ex, and I told him last night that I tested positive for chlamydia. He was angry and made me feel like an awful person. I know that it isn’t my fault that I got an STD. I have never had an STD that I’m aware of, and I have never had to deal with telling someone that I have one.
He said some pretty hurtful things to me about the situation…. It’s like he didn’t really care about how hard it was for me to talk to him about it. He was only focused on himself and how this whole thing affected him. He made me feel awful, even though he knows that it isn’t my fault.
I waited until he got out of work to tell him, because I didn’t want him to worry about it all day while he was working. I texted him and told him to call me when he got off of work. When I told him, he was angry that I didn’t tell him the moment I found out. I was just trying to be considerate and wait until he was finished working, so he could at least have a good day until I told him the news. It wasn’t like I waited weeks or anything; I waited maybe 5 hours to tell him.
I am so upset and I feel so depressed about the whole situation.
We aren’t boyfriend and girlfriend. He is not ready to be in a relationship right now, and we are both dealing with some of our own personal issues, but I do really care for him and have begun to develop intense feelings for this man. I feel that now he will no longer be interested in continuing our friendship. I know that if he is unwilling to work through this, then he isn’t worth my time, but it doesn’t change the fact that I care for him and feel that I have hurt him.
My ex’s infidelity has now, most likely, ruined something that could have been a really good thing. Who knows, though, if he can’t stand by me in a situation like this one, then I most likely would have found out in the future that he wasn’t the right one for me anyhow.
I’m just extremely disappointed about the whole situation. The whole stigma surrounding STDs is ridiculous and is the main reason, I believe, that he is acting like this is the end of the world. Neither of us have dealt with an STD before, so I’m guessing that he is in shock, like I was.
7. Do the people who know you have an STD/STI treat you differently than they treated you before they knew?
I have only told my mother and my sexual partner. I don’t plan on telling anyone else.
Chlamydia is a curable STD, so I have no reason to tell anyone else that I have been infected. I really don’t want to deal with people’s judgments based on something that I didn’t mean to happen or have any control over happening.
I love sex, and the sex I am having with my partner is the best sex I have had in my entire life, and now that that is jeopardized because of my ex’s infidelity; it makes me furious. If there was never going to be anything more between me and the man I am seeing, at least I had that amazing sex. Now, I feel like he will never want to be intimate with me like that again. It breaks my heart in so many ways.
He has treated me differently. He has made me feel bad about the fact that I was infected and made me feel like I’m an awful person who somehow irresponsible and had this coming to me. He kept talking about situations where this could ruin his life. Like this wasn’t hard for me or I wasn’t in pain for having to tell him. He just acted like the whole thing was all about him. It broke my heart that he couldn’t just be supportive, and he made it a big deal.
In reality, chlamydia is a one dose treatment of antibiotics and you’re done. It’s no big deal. He made it a big deal, and because of that, I feel dirty, sad, gross and slutty. I am so distraught over this entire situation. I never ever thought that this would be something I would have to tell someone, not because I thought I was better than anyone, simply because I just never thought about it.
8. Are you currently under treatment for your STD/STI? If so, please share whether you have explored prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or holistic and natural approaches.
I was prescribed a large dose of Zithromax (Azithromycin), and the nurse said that should clear up the infection.
The thing is, I wasn’t even aware that I had an STD. I wasn’t even presented with symptoms of infection. I’m very happy that I said yes to the free testing at my clinic. It gave me the opportunity to get rid of the infection before it became a larger issue.
9. Has having an STD/STI hindered past relationships?
This is my first STD, and I haven’t had any past relationships affected by it. It happened yesterday, I am only seeing one person, and thank god it is curable, so it won’t affect any future relationships (physically, at least).
10. Do you have a significant other? If so, how has this STD/STI affected your partner?
He has been very rude to me about the whole situation. I asked him to call me last night, and I told him when he called. He said some really hurtful things. He also was pissed that he had to spend his Saturday (his day off) at the clinic getting meds and tested. I wanted to say, ‘Sorry my awful situation has affected your life and your convenience. It’s oh so sad that you have to drive to the clinic and take some meds one time.’ He made a huge deal out of it and was even saying what if someone at his work found out and traced the infection back to him, and if that happened, he would get fired….which is absolutely ridiculous. Unless, of course, he is fucking his work.
He was very rude, and I was, obviously, very emotional about the whole thing. I was crying and he was just like, ‘I really have nothing more to say to you, so I’m going to go,’ and that was that. I haven’t heard from him all day, and we usually text back and forth all day. I wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t hear back from him for the rest of my life.
THIS is what the stigma of STDs does. I don’t think it is a fun experience for anyone to go through at all. STDs suck, but when it is a curable thing like chlamydia, it shouldn’t be so blown out of proportion. It would have been nice for him to tell me it’s gonna be alright; it’s just one pill and we are both good. But no, he acted like an asshole and made me feel like shit.
I really don’t understand how he can be so angry, even though this isn’t something that I did. I was cheated on and found that out yesterday, and he told me he honestly didn’t give a crap about that. He said that it didn’t concern him.
He was very selfish about the whole thing, like I wasn’t the one who had to go through the difficulty of being told I had an STD and that I had to tell my partner about it. He made the whole thing about him. He made me feel like I didn’t even want to live anymore… He made me feel disgusting and unwanted. I bet if he does talk to me, he will demand that I show him a test results paper with all negatives on it. That’s how awful this situation is and how he probably views me: as a dirty, nasty, used-up whore. I feel awful, and this has really messed up my self esteem.
11. Have you been sexually active with someone since contracting an STD/STI whom you did not tell you had an STD/STI?
No, I just found out and was treated immediately and told the person who I was sleeping with on the same day.
12. How have you changed as a result of contracting an STD/STI?
Well, I will definitely be getting tested after every new partner no matter what – even if I think that I trust them. Apparently, trust isn’t something very common these days.
13. Why are you choosing to participate in this interview and/or is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I’m participating in this interview becuse I saw that there weren’t very many interviews on Chlamydia, and I wanted to share my experience. It has, obviously, been negative, and I wanted women and men to know that even if you contracted an STD and your partner made you feel like shit, it isn’t the end of the world. Some people can be extremely immature and not handle things in an adult manner. I have found this out the hard way, and I honestly thought that I could trust this guy to be supportive and non-judgmental. I was definitely wrong. I am just shocked at the whole reaction he had and feel so bad about the whole situation. It is a curable disease, and it shouldn’t be a big deal at all, but he made it one.
I feel betrayed, depressed, and awful. I just wanted to share to let people who feel like I do know that they aren’t alone. Also when I am feeling this way, it helps me to write down how I am feeling, so that I can process my feelings and understand why I am feeling the way that I am.
Just remember, its not the end of the world, even if the STD/STI you contract isn’t curable. IF someone loves you, they will be there for you, offer you support and love and be there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on.
Thanks for reading my story.
UPDATE: Well, I discussed things with my partner after about a week of him not talking to me. We have begun to see each other again, and things seem to be okay. He told me that the situation was a shock to him and that he didn’t want to loose me over it. Obviously, there are other issues that need to be worked on in this relationship (if I can even call it that), but at least, in the long run, he didn’t completely reject me based on the situation. I guess, now that I have overcome this hurdle, I can try to overcome a few more with him. Hopefully, the next few won’t be so difficult and slow-going.
Can you relate to this interviewee? Did it help you to read someone else’s story? Have you experienced something similar or do you have some feedback to share with this individual? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!