The Secret Life of Students - Why Chlamydia Testing is Important
Last month Channel 4 brought the Secret Life of Students to our TV screens. The series used new technology to not only show us what the first year students at the University of Leicester got up to on camera, but also what they were saying on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.
Even though it can seem like one big party, being a fresher isn’t easy - you’re getting used to living on your own away from friends and family and trying to fit in with everyone. No doubt there’ll be slip ups along the way, and for the 12 Leicester students followed by Channel 4 there was nowhere to hide.
The very first episode follows freshers Josie and Aiden’s first couple of months in Leicester. The two are a perfect example of just how easy it can be to catch Chlamydia and show no symptoms.
On his own first year mission ‘to get laid’, Aiden finds out he’s caught Chlamydia. After a bit of nervous joking he does the sensible thing and gets treated for it. He also calls Josie to tell her that she should take a Chlamydia test too.
Aiden and Josie’s story is probably pretty common among freshers as up to a quarter of students admit that they caught an STI in their first year of uni. Chlamydia was the most common sexually transmitted infection among the students surveyed, with 59% admitting they’d caught it. Not surprising as it’s one of the most common STIs in the UK.
While the freshers and their friends joke about Chlamydia, it’s clear to see that behind the laughs they realise it can be very serious.
Straight after Aiden’s call, Josie searches ‘is Chlamydia permanent?’. While it’s not permanent, Chlamydia can go unnoticed and untreated as 75% of women and 50% of men show no symptoms. If left untreated for too long Chlamydia can cause even more problems in the long term including infertility.
If you think you might be in the same position as Josie or Aiden, don’t put off getting tested. The freetest.me service covers large areas of the UK, with Leicester being one of them. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to order a free postal test kit from us, just enter your postcode at www.freetest.me to see if you’re eligible for a free chlamydia test.
If your test comes back positive, you can tell your past partners yourself, like Aiden did, or you can opt for someone from the clinic to call on your behalf.