People Share Their Worst STI Stories

“My body is a temple of damnation.” 
A doctor examining a patient
Photo: Jupiterimages via Getty Images

This article originally appeared on VICE Netherlands.

I got chlamydia from an ex once. We didn’t use a condom and the very same week, he called me to tell me he had a sexually transmitted disease (STD). The next day, he came over to hand me the pills he had received from the medical centre. “I'll say I lost them so I can get new ones,” he told me. 


I found it sweet, but decided to get tested too, just in case. Who knows, maybe I’d slipped through the cracks and didn’t have to take those pills? Alas, the results were positive. I did have chlamydia, which was “also in your anus,” my doctor helpfully added.

I burst out laughing, which maybe was slightly inappropriate. It wasn’t because I was ashamed of having anal sex, but because I had never heard of an anal STD. The pills I was given were different from my ex’s. Good thing I got tested, otherwise I would still be walking around with chlamydia in my ass right now.

Reports show that diagnoses of gonorrhoea and chlamydia are on the rise in the UK. It’s a shame. Having one is incredibly unpleasant, but perfectly avoidable – I should know!

I asked some young people about their most unpleasant STD experiences, how they contracted them and what they learned from them. For obvious reasons, they all asked to use an alias.

‘I developed blisters on my vulva’

“Last summer, I contracted an STD at Lowlands [a music festival in the Netherlands]. On the first night of the festival, I was completely off my face and had sex with a guy I had just met. We didn’t use a condom, so I had to take a morning-after pill the next day. 

Not long after, I found out I had herpes. I had a gross, smelly discharge, pain while peeing and I developed blisters on my vulva. It was very uncomfortable, although I've heard much more disastrous stories about herpes. 


In the beginning, I had a bad feeling about that night. My body was pretty upset because of the herpes and the morning-after pill and I didn't have my period for a while. Besides, I found it creepy that I had no idea who I had sex with – we didn't exchange numbers and I never saw him again. 

Since then, I’ve had a different relationship with alcohol – I don't want to get into a state where I can't make conscious choices anymore. I also started thinking more about safe sex. 

How to Make Safer Sex Hot

Herpes is an STD you carry with you for the rest of your life and there is no pill to treat it. Fortunately, it isn’t always contagious, so I don't have to use condoms for the rest of my life. But when my immune system is low, there is a pretty good chance that it reappears. 

The other day, I met a cute guy and my vulva started getting sore. I immediately stressed out. Luckily, it wasn’t herpes – but the idea that I can potentially infect my sex partners with something they have to keep forever is very unpleasant.

Overall, this experience allowed me to have a more sensible relationship with my sex health. I get tested regularly, I take it seriously. I also communicate about it with friends and sexual partners.” – Elisabeth, 24

‘When I went to the toilet to check, my pants were full of yellow shit’

“As we speak, I have pubic lice. It's extremely itchy; I'm constantly scratching. About two weeks ago, I noticed something lying there. It was moving. I picked it off my skin and took a close look at it. ‘What the fuck, it’s a louse,’ I thought. Gross

I don't know how I caught it; I had unprotected sex with several people. I have quite the history with STDs. Besides pubic lice, I've had chlamydia once and gonorrhoea twice. 


Two years ago, while I was at work, I felt something sticky in my pants. When I went to the toilet to check, they were full of yellow discharge shit. I had gonorrhoea and had to take antibiotics. 

After that, I said to myself, ‘I'm only going to have safe sex, my body is a temple.’ But a few weeks later, I thought, ‘Fuck it, I’ll do it without condoms.’

A year later, I was on holiday and felt sick. I sat on my bed and saw pus coming out of my dick. I saw a doctor who did an injection in my ass [to treat the gonorrhoea]. That time, I got really sick and promised myself once more never to have unprotected sex again. But even after that, things quickly went wrong again. It seems like I never learn my lesson.

If you have an STD, you should inform your sex partners. I don't – I know it’s bad, but I find it too embarrassing. The way I treat my body is reckless and stupid. My body is a temple of damnation. Rationally, I know it’s super important to have safe sex, but I can’t keep it up. The silly but honest reason for this is I get hornier without a condom.” – Piet, 32

‘I tested positive both vaginally and in my nipple piercing’

“In late 2022, a guy I had sex with sent me a message saying he’d contracted gonorrhoea after we had sex, and that I should get tested. When the doctor called with my test results, she said, ‘You are positive for both gonorrhoea and chlamydia.’ I was in shock. I didn't even know you could have two STDs at the same time. And how did the guy only have one and I had two?

The last person I’d had sex with [before him] was my ex. We’d broken up because he had made out with someone else. He’d told me he hadn’t had sex with her, but the STD had to come from him since I hadn’t had any other sex partners yet. Busted. 


After the breakup, I had sex with my ex again, so I sent him a text to warn him [about my STDs]. He tested positive for chlamydia. That’s when I knew for sure: I contracted two different STDs, from two different guys.

Physically, it wasn’t too bad. Except for my nipple piercing, which was badly infected. It hurt so much I couldn't even bend over. It turned out I tested positive both vaginally and in my nipple piercing. 

I was given pills to treat chlamydia. They made me feel nauseous because I took them on an empty stomach. For gonorrhoea, I was given an injection in my butt-cheek, which caused a minor muscle ache afterwards, but that was fine. 

Since then, I am more likely to use a condom with people I don't know – it was not the case before that. Fortunately, today I can laugh about the whole story.” – Mimi, 20

‘If I hadn't checked, I might still be walking around with chlamydia’

“My STD story is a bit complicated. In the summer of 2020, I broke up with my first boyfriend. A few months later, I had a brief relationship with Rik. They were the only two guys I’d ever had sex with. Then I met a guy on Tinder named Bas, with whom I had my first one-night stand. After we had sex, he sent me a message saying I should get tested for STDs, because he had physical symptoms.

It seemed impossible to me. I had two monogamous relationships and had casual sex once, and now this? I went to my GP in a panic.

The result turned out to be negative. I felt relieved, but had a weird feeling in my stomach. So I decided to contact my GP again to double-check. ‘Oh, your urine test is not back yet,’ she said. It turned out they’d made a mistake.

The next morning, I got a call: I did have chlamydia. If I hadn't checked, I might still be walking around with it, and its consequences

I still don't know whom I had this STD from, but I feel I have the right to know. Even though it was solved with two pills, I found it uncomfortable and complicated. Since then, I’ve got checked regularly and I want to tell everyone: Get tested, even if you’ve had few sex partners.” – Dauphine, 26