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April 16, 2018 | by  | in Opinion VUWSA |
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VUWSA

Hey — I’m Ella, your Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer, and I have had chlamydia. STIs are still one of the ultimate taboo subjects, and I’m pretty tired of it team.

I slept with a friend of a friend who told me he was clean when neither of us had a condom. Turned out he wasn’t. Yeah, he’s a bit of a numpty — shouldn’t have said yeah when he didn’t know, but we all make mistakes right?

When I got checked it was so chill guys. Like what — I just take a pill and it’s gone! Why the shame?? I have sex and enjoy it — forgive me if sometimes that has the odd consequence. I told the dude and he got it gone too. When I slept with someone before I got it gone, I told them my last tryst had been without a wrap — they checked and got it gone too. Easy peasy.

And I get it, there’s some STIs that maybe one pill won’t get rid of. But you know what — you can live a healthy, sex-filled lifestyle in a safe way with herpes and HIV too. It might take a few more pills and more regular GP visits, as well as some really brave honesty with sexual partners, but it’s totally possible.

Maybe in 2018 it’s worth re-evaluating the way we shame people into staying silent about STIs. We can’t work at eradicating the issue if we don’t give each other the confidence and support to loudly yell “I had chlamydia!”

I mean really —  over 30% of sexually active New Zealanders have genital herpes. HIV is being diagnosed increasingly in New Zealand, and it doesn’t just affect our queer community — so pull your heads out of your arses hetero-folk.

We all deserve respect and to lead good lives. For me, a good life involves healthy, consensual sex, and I’m sure for others it does too. Let’s not force people out of life’s orgy just because one risk resulted in a lil herpes.

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