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HomeTestCan You Have A False Positive Chlamydia Test

Can You Have A False Positive Chlamydia Test

Can You Test Negative For Chlamydia And Still Be A Carrier

Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of chlamydia | Infectious diseases | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

Modern medical testing is incredibly accurate and this includes STD tests. However, no medical testing method is 100% accurate and there can be a very small number of false negative test results. A false negative is where a person has a condition, despite the medical test saying they are all clear. As well as these small amounts of false negatives there are a number of scenarios that can cause a person to have chlamydia and still test negative.

Where Can I Get More Information

Health care providers with STD consultation requests can contact the STD Clinical Consultation Network . This service is provided by the National Network of STD Clinical Prevention Training Centers and operates five days a week. STDCCN is convenient, simple, and free to health care providers and clinicians. More information is available at www.stdccn.orgexternal icon.

Division of STD Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-38271-800-783-987


1. OFarrell N, Morison L, Moodley P, et al. Genital ulcers and concomitant complaints in men attending a sexually transmitted infections clinic: implications for sexually transmitted infections management. Sexually transmitted diseases 2008 35:545-9.

2. White JA. Manifestations and management of lymphogranuloma venereum. Current opinion in infectious diseases 2009 22:57-66.

3. Kreisel KM, Spicknall IH, Gargano JW, Lewis FM, Lewis RM, Markowitz LE, Roberts H, Satcher Johnson A, Song R, St. Cyr SB, Weston EJ, Torrone EA, Weinstock HS. Sexually transmitted infections among US women and men: Prevalence and incidence estimates, 2018. Sex Transm Dis 2021 in press.

4. CDC. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2019. Atlanta, GA: Department of Health and Human Services April 2021.

5. Torrone E, Papp J, Weinstock H. Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis Genital Infection Among Persons Aged 1439 Years United States, 20072012. MMWR 2014 63:834-8.

False Positive Hepatitis C

To understand the reason for the false positive result of Hepatitis C, first we need to understand the types and nature of the test for Hepatitis C. There are two types of test use to determine the presence of Hepatitis C in the body 1) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, or ELISA, screen 2) RNA Test

  • enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay : Here in this test, the reaction of the antibodies are observed that the immune system develops in response to an infection . So it is a kind of an indirect test, where the response of antibodies determines the presence of virus.
  • RNA Test : It looks directly for the virus in the bloodstream, and it is an expensive test compared to the general screening purposes. It is typically only used as a confirmatory test if ELISA is positive.
  • A False positive Hepatitis C occurs when the ELISA test comes up positive for hepatitis C antibodies.But the person taking the test was never exposed to hepatitis C virus, which leads the RNA test to read as negative. This may happen because the ELISA test may have picked up the antibodies produced by immune system other than the reason of Hepatitis C, this is what is known as Cross-reactive. The ELISA ends up picking up on these antibodies presence and incorrectly coming up positive. There are many reasons why your immunity system can produce the antibodies like lack of sanitation and clean water etc. Thus, leading to false positive result.

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    Can You Get Chlamydia More Than Once

    Its possible to have chlamydia multiple times. The bacteria will not create antibodies to protect your body from further infection. You can get re-infected by continuing sexual relations with a partner who is untested and untreated.

    Its best to always use condoms with partners who may have chlamydia.

    How Will I Know If I Have Chlamydia


    You can only be certain you have chlamydia if you have a test.

    Anyone can get chlamydia. Youre more likely to have it if youre under 25, have a new sexual partner, or more than one sexual partner in the last year, and if you havent used condoms.

    You should have a test if:

    • you, or a partner, have or think you might have symptoms
    • youve recently had sex without a condom with a new partner
    • you, or a partner, have had sex without a condom with other partners
    • during a vaginal examination, your doctor or nurse says that the cervix is inflamed and/or theres an unusual discharge
    • a sexual partner tells you they have a sexually transmitted infection
    • you have another STI.

    If you live in England, and youre a woman who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test when you change sexual partner and once a year.

    If youre a man who is under 25 and sexually active, its recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year if you are not using condoms with new or casual partners.

    You could still have chlamydia even if a partner has tested negative. The only way to make sure you dont have chlamydia is to get tested yourself.

    If you have chlamydia, youll be encouraged to be tested for other STIs as you can have more than one STI at the same time.

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    Why It Is Done

    A test for chlamydia is done to:

    • See if your symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection are caused by a chlamydia infection.
    • Check people who are at high risk for being infected with chlamydia. A chlamydia infection doesn’t always cause symptoms.
    • Retest people several months after they have been treated for chlamydia.
    • Check for infection in your newborn if you had a chlamydia infection at the time of delivery.

    What Is A Discordant Result

    SH:24 uses highly sensitive & specific diagnostic tests for HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea however, when tens of thousands of tests are done each year it is possible for unexpected results to occur.

    One reason for this is contamination, which can occur at the time of sampling or in the laboratory. The molecular amplification tests we use are very powerful and the smallest trace of the organism can result in a positive or reactive result. Since you are testing at home contamination is unlikely and our partner laboratory abide by strict quality controls to ensure that cross contamination does not occur consequently, it is highly unlikely for the test result for Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea to be wrong.

    When SH:24 refers you to a service for treatment for Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea we do not expect the clinic to repeat the test at this time however, in some rare circumstances when the result does not match the clinical history the clinic you visit may opt to repeat the test and wait for that result.

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    Effects Of Std Window Period On Test Results

    If you have a negative STD test, but youre still worried, the cause of your negative result is most likely due to the window period. The STD window period is the amount of time it takes for an STD to register on a test. What does this mean, and how can it affect your STD test results?

    If youre exposed to an STD and end up catching it, you wont test positive right away. That can have some significant side effects on your sexual health. For example, if you get tested within the window period and receive a false negative, you could transmit the disease to sexual partners.

    Another dangerous effect of getting tested too soon during the window period is delaying treatment. If you dont receive treatment for an STD, it can cause adverse effects on your health and well-being.

    Here are thewindow periods for the most common STDs:

    • HIV: Between 10 and 90 days
    • Chlamydia: one to two weeks
    • Syphilis: one to three weeks
    • Hepatitis: Between two and six weeks
    • Gonorrhea: five to 14 days
    • HPV: three weeks to about three months
    • Trichomoniasis: one week to 30 days
    • Herpes: one to four months

    As you can see, its essential to get regular STD tests since the window period can have such significant effects on your results.

    How Long For Chlamydia To Show Up

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    Most people who have chlamydia have no symptomsat least not at first.

    Some never develop symptoms, while others only develop them 1-3 weeks after having unprotected sex with an infected partner.

    Below is a breakdown of how long it takes for chlamydia to show up in different sexes and parts of the body.

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    What Is A False Positive Test Result

    A false positive outcome indicates that you have a certain condition or disease when in actuality you do not have the disease or condition. Melanoma, a form of skin cancer, is a good example of an illness that can produce false positive results.

    In terms of tests for STIs, a false positive result for chlamydia or gonorrhoea for instance would indicate that you have the infection, when the reality is that you dont. This can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety for people as well as receiving treatment for no reason. In the case of gonorrhoea or chlamydia, this would involve taking antibiotics , which are unnecessary, could lead to unpleasant side effects and a waste of time for patients, doctors, nurses and pharmacists. It is also a waste of health resources and money for the patient, if theyve paid for their prescription.

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    How Long Do Std Results Take

    STI test results can take between five and 10 days. If you have testing done at Planned Parenthood, well contact you ONLY if your results are positive. If this is the case, well give you a call to ask you to come back for follow up. Planned Parenthood does not contact patients if the results are negative.

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    What Causes False Positives

    False positive results are closely tied to a tests sensitivity. Sensitivity is the term used to describe how capable a test is when it comes to detecting a bacteria or virus in small quantities, and while this doesnt sound like it could be a bad thing, an overly sensitive test is what can contribute to the incidence of false positives.

    Sensitivity can be best explained as a measure of how likely it is that a test can detect a particular illness, for example a specificity of about 98% suggests that in 98 cases out of every 100 the test will successfully detect a pathogen.

    While it may not sound like a problem, and sensitivity certainly is something that clinicians and scientists look for in an STI test, over sensitivity is what causes false positives. Ultimately sensitivity needs to be balanced with specificity, which is a description of a tests ability to specifically detect a particular pathogen accurately. If a test is too sensitive and not specific enough, it might incorrectly report the presence of a pathogen, otherwise known as a false positive.

    The possibility of a false result is why many practices retest for particularly severe STIs like HIV.

    During And After The Test

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    When you have a urine STD test, it is usually during a regular appointment. You will be asked to pee into a sample collection cup or tube. That tube or cup will be given to one of the medical staff.

    Your urine sample will then be sent out to a lab or tested at the clinic. You can leave as soon as you are done giving the sample or when your appointment is finished.

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    False Positive Vs False Negative Test

    01 March 2021

    STD tests offer a high degree of accuracy if completed correctly, but there are a number of situations which might lead to an inaccurate result. This is known as either a false negative or a false positive result. In this blog, we take a look at these two outcomes, what might cause them and analyse the difference between the two.

    How Can You Get Treatment

    • The YorSexualHealth team can arrange treatment for you .

    • Postal treatments can often be arranged â one of our nurses can discuss this with you.
    • If you have symptoms, are pregnant or want a full check up, you will need to go to a sexual health clinic â we can help to arrange this.

    • These treatments are free of charge and confidential.

    • If you would prefer to go to your GP for treatment, you may need to pay a prescription charge.

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    Other Common Questions About Stds And Negative Results

    Can you test negative for STDs like Chlamydia and still have them?

    Yes, you can test negative for STDs and still have them. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two most common STDs that can cause false negatives, especially if you get tested too quickly.

    All my STD tests were negative, but I still have symptoms. What should I do?

    If your STD test was negative, but youre still worried or experiencing symptoms, you need to speak to a doctor, who may recommend that you take another test. You could have a false negative, so the best way to know whether you contracted an STD is to get tested again.

    What Is The Prognosis For A Female With Chlamydia

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    As discussed previously, chlamydia infection can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease if untreated, which can have serious consequences. Complications include permanent damage to the reproductive organs, including infertility and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia infection in pregnancy can also lead to low birth weight and premature delivery as well as pneumonia and eye damage in the newborn.

    Having an untreated chlamydia infection can also increase a persons risk for acquiring HIV infection. It can also increase the risk that a person with HIV infection will transmit the infection to others during sexual intercourse.

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    When To See A Healthcare Professional

    If you suspect you have chlamydia, see a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Abstain from allsexual activity until your appointment.

    If you arent comfortable getting tested for STIs with your usual provider, you can find a clinic in your area.

    There are many free or low-cost clinics. Heres how to find one near you.

    You can also visit GetTested or call CDC Info at 800-232-4636 to find local clinics.

    What Kind Of Discharge Can You Get From A Std

    It might be white and thick or clear and watery, depending on the underlying cause. While penile discharge is a common symptom of many sexually transmitted diseases , including gonorrhea and chlamydia, other things can cause it as well.

    Although any STD tests can be false negative there are predominantly two such diseases where there is a greater chance of having a false negative reason. Which STD test results are more likely to be False Negative? Although chances of false negative STD test results are very rare, they do happen.

    What happens is when you test for Gonorrhea within the 7 days of contraction, the test result may appear negative. As Gonorrhea is an asymptomatic disease, its testing during its incubation period can result in false negative test result.

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    How Is Chlamydia Prevented

    You already know chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection. Therefore, the safest and easiest way to prevent chlamydia is sexual abstinence. Other ways chlamydia can be prevented in men and women are

    • Use condoms for intercourse
    • Get your male or female sexual partners tested for the infection
    • Recheck for chlamydia infection after 5 weeks of treatment
    • Avoid intercourse while on chlamydia treatment
    • Use adult toys with condoms

    Now its your turn. Do you have any chlamydia symptoms? Let us know if we can help.

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    A Delay Or No Treatment

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    A false negative test can be a complete disaster, especially when you have your STD in the advanced stage and you require immediate medical attention or treatment. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea both are asymptomatic diseases in their respective initial stages, meaning they dont show much symptoms or signs on the body during their initial stages. False Negative test result may end up a person thinking that he is not suffering from any diseases. Thus, doesnt require any medical attention.

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    Why Cant I Repeat The Chlamydia Test After Ive Taken My Treatment To Check It Worked

    You can, but it takes up to 6 weeks for the test to go back to negative after an infection. If you re-test too early a positive result can be a sign of continuing or re-infection, but itâs most likely to be positive from the initial infection, so itâs not at all helpful.

    If you are under 25 years of age, it is recommended to have a repeat test 3 months after treatment as a significant number of young people get repeat infections which are linked to an increased risk of complications.

    How Long Does It Take To Show Up In People With Penises

    Theres no significant difference in the amount of time it takes for chlamydia symptoms to show up for people with penises as compared to people with vulvas.

    The only major difference in the time it takes for symptoms to show up among people of various sexes may be related to how often symptoms show up.

    According to the Childrens National Health System, 90 percent of people with vulvas dont ever experience any physical symptoms, while 70 percent of people with penises never notice any symptoms.

    This difference in who actually experiences symptoms between these two groups may have some effect on how long it takes for symptoms show up. But theres never been any definitive link between your sex and when your symptoms appear.

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