A TikToker Wants To End STI Stigma, And Shares That He’s Had Chlamydia Three Times

January 25, 2023 / Posted by:

Chris Olsen, a social media star with 9.6 million followers, is making headlines for a TikTok in which he admits he’s had chlamydia three times. Yahoo! reports that 25-year-old Chris casually mentions this fact at the beginning of his video and follows it up with “End the stigma!” before launching into an anecdote about a nurse trying to set him up with her son during a routine STI test. The video now has 8.4 million views. So, the same amount of people who live in Switzerland are now aware that Chris Olsen had chlamydia thrice. That is the power of social media in 2023.

In his TikTok, Chris says his nurse, Christina, asked, “What kind of person do you like?” Chris was impressed that Christina didn’t assume he was a “raging homosexual,” and informed the nurse that he likes tall men. She replied that Chris was a catch and mentioned she had a son he might be interested in. Chris got the guy’s name, found him on Instagram, and discovered “he is the ex of one of the men who has ghosted me in the past year.” Chris ends the video by announcing the nurse just called, and, “this time,” he doesn’t have chlamydia “So, little wins!” Here’s the TikTok:

@chris

THIS WORLD IS TOO SMALL

♬ original sound – Chris Olsen

Obviously, the anecdote is of no consequence. What people are focused on is Chris’ laissez-faire admission that he’s had multiple STIs. Many of the commenters have praised him for being so open about an issue that can be a source of shame. Ireland Baldwin commented, “Congrats!” Jewel wrote, “Omg I love you,” and the official Access Hollywood TikTok account wrote, “Felt like we were FaceTiming bestie ily” (HEH?!). Others applauded Chris for being responsible and getting tested.

Yahoo! reports that positive STI cases reached an all-time high for the sixth year in a row in 2019, with more than half of all new STI cases found in young adults between 15 to 23. Since the pandemic, gonorrhea and syphilis cases continue to surge. The STI Project board president, Jenelle Marie Pierce, tells Yahoo that de-stigmatizing STIs by telling personal stories in such an open way is a good model for how young people can talk about their sexual health:

“What I love most about this video is the casual conversation that’s taking place between the influencer and the audience, which is none too different than a typical disclosure conversation,” Pierce tells Yahoo Life. “In some ways, it’s serious, yes, but it can also be fun and affirming. It’s a dialogue where information is shared and decisions are made and then, hopefully, fun is had. What’s not to like about that, right?”

Oftentimes, conversations around STI disclosure get “wrapped up in a lot of trepidation, fear, ethics, and morality,” she notes. And while some of that fear and shame is unavoidable, what people often forget is that disclosure can be a simple conversation among partners — something which Olsen’s candor demonstrates.

Jenelle says the more celebrities like Chris (yeah, I hadn’t heard of him before this story, either, but clearly Gen-Z has) discuss their diagnoses, the less isolated us normies will feel about our own diagnoses. She shares that, unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of positive examples of this. Jenelle points out that Anne Heche was “essentially blacklisted” when she talked about contracting herpes after experiencing sexual assault.

Honestly, good for Chris. Who among us hasn’t contracted syphilis or the non-cancerous type of HPV from a one-night stand who lives in a Liberty Village condo (Toronto refereeence)? Getting an STI is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, according to the CDC, 4 out of 5 people who have never contracted an STI are actually huge fucking losers who married their high-school sweethearts. The more you know!

Pic: Faye’s Vision/Cover Images

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