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Interview 42

Age at interview: 22
Brief Outline: At the age of seventeen she contracted Chlamydia and genital herpes. After that experience she insisted on her partners using a condom. (Played by an actor)
Background: She is married with a small child and works full time. Her husband also works full-time and her in-laws help to take care of their child. (Played by an actor)

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Explains that her main motivation as a teenager was to avoid pregnancy rather than STIs - but...

Explains that her main motivation as a teenager was to avoid pregnancy rather than STIs - but...

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You said you had some information about sexual health for instance about safe sex, prevention of unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections?

I think infections aren't so, I mean pregnancy is a bigger worry than infections to a lot of teenagers and that's something that's not so widely spoken about, for me anyway.

When I was a teenager I think that pregnancy was the main issue rather than infections and I found myself with an infection once and I had to go and sort it out and I didn't really have a lot of support from you know, people to talk to, I didn't talk to my peers about it.

I felt like I'd been an idiot and it was just stupid of me for being lax you know, and since I've made sure that you know, there's absolutely no contact before the condom went on you know because you think well, the most important thing is to make sure that he doesn't ejaculate you know what I mean, and you can have as much contact then, and that's something I think that I wasn't really aware of as much, I was more concerned about not getting pregnant, you know at that stage, and then after that things changed.
 

Explains that she discovered she had Chlamydia only because she went for a check up for something...

Explains that she discovered she had Chlamydia only because she went for a check up for something...

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I had Chlamydia which I didn't know about and I had warts and that's the reason I went in. I caught genital warts from somebody.

How old were you?

I was seventeen and I went in and they did a full screen and I had Chlamydia as well, it must have been from the same guy so I was very peeved to say the least.

You went because you discovered you had warts, so there was something there?

They were itching so I thought oh okay, and I didn't really want to go to my GP because that was somebody that I knew too well I think, so I found out that there was a place in the next town that I could go and I did it myself, I hopped on a bus and went. 

I had to take some time off school so... there was one friend that I told and she had a car and she sometimes dropped me off because I had to go back a couple of times.

And did you have anything at all that could have been associated with Chlamydia?

No.

So was it the genital warts that'?

That was the reason I went in.

But you have just had Chlamydia?

They did the full screening and they said 'oh something else has come up now' and I didn't even know about it, I'd never even heard of chlamydia and they gave me a leaflet and everything and I thought well it's a good thing I did have something with symptoms.

So in a way you were lucky?

Yeah, I do count myself as lucky because it was something mild and it's something you know, that doesn't affect me now, but it could have been.

But they sorted out Chlamydia?

Yeah, they did a full screening.

Okay and they gave you the antibiotics?

Yeah, and that cleared it up straight away. I felt like I'd been an idiot and it was just stupid of me for being lax you know, and since I've made sure that you know, there's absolutely no contact before the condom went on you know because you think well, the most important thing is to make sure that he doesn't ejaculate you know what I mean, and you can have as much contact then, and that's something I think that I wasn't really aware of as much, I was more concerned about not getting pregnant, you know at that stage, and then after that things changed.
 

Explains that genital warts took a long time to clear and that she had treatment in two different...

Explains that genital warts took a long time to clear and that she had treatment in two different...

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No, I had to go a few times because, to get them burnt off and then they didn't go completely and I had to go three or four times so she dropped me off once or twice, I don't remember. So that kind of was not such a pleasant experience.

So the relationship between you and the doctors and the nurses at the clinic was sort of friendly or impersonal or'

They were okay but, yeah. It took them a long time to get it sorted out actually because I went in, I don't remember, I saw one doctor and he gave me something and it didn't work and then I had to go back and see a different doctor, and a different doctor and they were all kind of in the same area but none of them seemed to really know what they were doing.

Here I came in and you know, they were straight in, you know scrape them off and that was it - problem solved. I think that the facilities just weren't great for those kind of things. It was you know, out in the country and the facilities weren't that great and it wasn't something that people knew a lot about.

And all this time you were having itching and things like that?

Yeah, it must have been quite a long time. I don't really remember you know, it's not something I really kept track of. I just wanted it to go yeah, but it must have been for quite a long time, I do remember it being a pain and going on for a long time and then when I came here it must have been about a month or so and it was cleared and that was the end of the problem.
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