AIDS Affairs

by

October 11, 2016

Dear Counsellor,

I tested positive for a sexual disease. The doctor says it is Chlamydia. I was forced to have sex with my church brother. We are not really intimate friends, but we have been going out a lot. This was the first time we were having sex, and it was really not planned. I told him about my infection and he insisted that he was not the one who gave it to me because he was not the one who was having symptoms.

Counsellor, my church brother is making me feel so guilty. I am very confused because I have not had sex for about 12 years. What I find really strange, though, Counsellor, is that I only started having these symptoms after I had sex with him.

Counsellor, could you tell me if it could be possible that I picked up Chlamydia from using the toilet at my workplace because that is the only place I think I could be exposed?

Confused Church Sister

Dear Confused Church Sister,

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria and is usually transmitted from one infected partner to another during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Most people infected with Chlamydia often do not have visible symptoms in the early stages of the infection. That could give you the false impression that everything is okay. Therefore, for someone who practises unsafe sex, has more than one sex partner, or who changes sex partners, it may be difficult to determine who infected that person. It is also important to note that only a few men (two out 10) show visible symptoms when they are infected. On the other hand, most women (eight out of 10) show visible symptoms when they are infected.

Chlamydia can cause serious health problems in the later stages, including preventing women from getting pregnant or even endangering their pregnancies.

Right now, your major concern should be to get better. You must follow your doctor's instructions carefully. You should abstain from all sexually activity until you are fully cured. Your church brother needs to get tested for Chlamydia even if he is not showing visible symptoms. As mentioned earlier, he may be infected but not showing visible symptoms. He could reinfect you if he is not treated, and most important, he could develop serious complications.

Both you and your church brother must discuss safer sexual practices, and you must be reminded that you have a personal responsibility to protect your sexual health and also that no one is immune to sexually transmitted infections. It is a matter of having unsafe sexual practices.

Am I HIV-positive?

Dear Counsellor,

At the end of each year, I usually do a routine medical examination. I did blood tests, urine test, and so on. I got back the results, and my doctor told me that I was in good health. Does that mean that I am not infected with HIV?

Healthy and Happy

Dear Healthy and Happy,

Doctors do not routinely test for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. You should not assume that your blood was tested for HIV. The HIV test is not usually done without the patient's knowledge and consent. If you are concerned, ask your doctor to be a little more specific as to what tests were done.

For more information on condom use, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections call the AIDS/STD Helpline toll free at 1888-991-4444.