Chlamydia Tests And Treatment
Chlamydia tests are simple and painless.
A sample of cells can be collected for testing in two ways:
- giving a sample of urine
- gently wiping a swab over the area that might be infected.
Swabs only take a few seconds and dont hurt they may be uncomfortable for a moment or two.
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. The most common treatments are:
You could pass on the infection if you have sex before treatment has finished. This includes vaginal, anal and oral sex, even with a condom. To prevent re-infection or passing the infection on, wait 7 days after your treatment has finished to have sex.
Even if you are given a single dose of antibiotics, you need to wait 7 days to have sex.
It is important that people you have had sex with recently are also tested and treated. A clinic can contact them if you dont want to.
Will Treating Stds Prevent Me From Getting Hiv
No. Its not enough.
If you get treated for an STD, this will help to prevent its complications, and prevent spreading STDs to your sex partners. Treatment for an STD other than HIV does not prevent the spread of HIV.
If you are diagnosed with an STD, talk to your doctor about ways to protect yourself and your partner from getting reinfected with the same STD, or getting HIV.
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What Can You Do To Prevent Getting Stis
If you have HIV, the best thing you can do to stay healthy is to take HIV medicine exactly as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral loada level of HIV in your blood so low that a standard lab test cant detect it. People with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load can live long and healthy lives and will not transmit HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex.
But even if you are taking HIV medicine and your viral load is undetectable, it will not prevent you from getting other STIs, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis.
The only 100% effective way to avoid getting other STIs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting other STIs:
- Reduce the number of people you have sex with.
- Dont drink alcohol or use drugs before and during sex.
Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
- Use a new condom for every act of vaginal, anal, and oral sex throughout the entire sex act .
- Condoms are highly effective in preventing STIs, but not foolproof. Read this fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to use condoms consistently and correctly.
Get the vaccines that are recommended.
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Linking Hiv Treatment And Syphilis Infection
In 2017, a group of scientists realized that syphilis infection was rising faster than other bacterial STIs among men who have sex with men . Until that point, most people thought that HIV treatment led to increased STI infection rates among men with HIV because of behavioral factors. In other words, the prevailing belief was that because men knew that effective HIV treatment and prophylaxis reduced HIV risk, they were practicing less safe sex. This, in turn, was increasing their risk of STIs other than HIV. However, if syphilis rates were increasing faster than other STI rates, something else might also be going on.
The researchers hypothesized that HAART might alter the way the immune system responds to infections. Specifically, they thought that those changes might enhance susceptibility to the type of bacteria that causes syphilis. This could, in turn, explain why syphilis rates were rising faster than rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea. That said, the research was quite preliminary, and there were other possible explanations. Among other things, doctors may be less effective about screening men for gonorrhea and chlamydia than HIV and syphilis. Still, it is a question that merits further exploration.
Linking Syphilis Infection And Hiv Prevention
Another important development in understanding the link between syphilis and HIV is the growing recognition that new diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections represent opportunities for prevention. Several groups of researchers have found that men who have sex with men who are newly diagnosed with syphilis are at very high risk of then becoming infected with HIV.
The implication? Use new syphilis infections to prioritize getting men access to pre-exposure prophylaxis . Providing high-risk men with PrEP can lower their risk of acquiring HIV by treating them in advance of infection. Prioritizing high-risk men can also make PrEP more cost-effective, as it makes certain the treatment first gets to the individuals who need it most. In this case, targeting MSM with syphilis diagnoses identifies a high-risk population who are clearly both being exposed to STDs and not reliably practicing safer sex.
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How To Get Tested For Chlamydia
To get tested, you will need to do a swab of your arse and/or throat, and a urine test or urethral swab to test for a urethral infection.
You can get tested with your doctor, sexual health clinic or if you are in Sydney book at a which is a fast, free and confidential rapid HIV test and STI screening service for gay guys. Find where to test near you.
Keep in mind that while you can be tested for chlamydia at a, its an asymptomatic clinic, which means an STI test wont be performed if youre showing symptoms and they cannot provide you with treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms of chlamydia, make sure you visit your doctor or sexual health clinic.
How Do You Get Chlamydia
The bacteria are usually spread through:
your genitals touching an infected persons genitals this means you can get and pass on chlamydia even if you dont have penetrative sex or ejaculation
sharing unwashed or uncovered sex toys with someone who has the infection
infected semen or vaginal fluid getting into your eye.
Chlamydia can also be passed on by a pregnant woman to her baby. For more details on chlamydia in pregnancy read our in detail tab.
Chlamydia cant be passed on through casual contact like kissing, hugging, sharing baths, towels or using the same toilet as someone with the infection.
How Can A Person Reduce The Risk Of Getting An Std
Sexual abstinence is the only way to eliminate any chance of getting an STD. But if you are sexually active, you can take the following steps to lower your risk for STDs, including HIV.
Choose less risky sexual behaviors.
- Reduce the number of people you have sex with.
- Do not drink alcohol or use drugs before and during sex.
Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
- Visit this website from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn how to use condoms correctly.
What Puts You At Risk For Stds And Hiv
You’re at risk if you:
- Have sex without using a condom, with someone who is infected.
- Have had an STD.
- Have more than one sex partner.
- Are under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
- Many women have STDs without having symptoms. This means that unless she gets tested, she may have an STD and not know it.
- Young women are getting HIV or an STD because the tissue lining the vagina is more fragile.
If you are a woman, take charge of your sexual health. Be sure to schedule pelvic exams and pap smears every year. Get tested and learn how to protect yourself from STDs and HIV.
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Risk Of Getting An Std From Sexual Assault
The STDs that are diagnosed most frequently after sexual assault include gonorrhea or chlamydia. The risk of acquiring gonorrhea or chlamydia from sexual assault is low. The chances of acquiring syphilis or genital herpes are even lower. The risk of becoming infected with HIV is extremely low.
If an STD is diagnosed after a sexual assault, it does not always mean that the infection was acquired during the assault. However, a post-assault examination provides an important opportunity to identify and treat undetected STDs. For example, a person may have an STD before being sexually assaulted. This could be the case when infected with chlamydia as about 3 out of 4 women and 1 out of 2 men will not have symptoms. Early treatment can prevent lasting harm.
How Can A Person With Hiv Prevent Passing Hiv To Others
Take HIV medicines daily. Treatment with HIV medicines helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. One of the goals of ART is to reduce a person’s viral load to an undetectable level. An undetectable viral load means that the level of HIV in the blood is too low to be detected by a viral load test. People with HIV who maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partner through sex.
If your viral load is not undetectableor does not stay undetectableyou can still protect your partner from HIV by using condoms and choosing less risky sexual behaviors. Your partner can take medicine to prevent getting HIV, which is called pre-exposure prophylaxis . PrEP is an HIV prevention option for people who do not have HIV but who are at risk of getting HIV. PrEP involves taking a specific HIV medicine every day to reduce the risk of getting HIV through sex or injection drug use.
To learn more, read the HIVinfo Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis fact sheet.
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What Is The Difference Between An Std And Sti
The term STD is often used interchangeably with the term sexually transmitted infection . But despite this common misconception, STDs and STIs arent exactly the same. Each term has a specific meaning:
- STI. An STI is a sexually transmitted infection and doesnt cause any symptoms. Instead, an STI refers to the presence of the virus, bacteria, or other pathogens in your body.
- STD. An STD is a sexually transmitted disease, which does cause symptoms. It happens when the pathogens in your body have led to the cell damage that produces symptoms.
Put simply, an infection just means the presence of the pathogen is in your body, while a disease means youre having symptoms. A condition is only considered an STD if there are symptoms.
This might seem like a small difference, but the distinction is important. This is especially true for STIs that rarely cause symptoms, like chlamydia or gonorrhea. For many people, these STIs wont ever progress to STDs.
Getting The Conversation Started
Theres still a stigma around STDs and HIV that can make them embarrassing or difficult to talk about. But theres no shame in taking steps to protect yourself and your sexual partners.
Talking with a doctor and any partners doesnt have to be uncomfortable. Here are a few tips on where to start:
- Bringing up STDs with a medical professional during a general visit about other health concerns can make it easier to start the conversation.
- Asking questions about any steps you should be taking for your sexual health is a good way to start the conversation about safe sex and STDs.
- Using a leading question like, Ive recently started dating again and wanted to ask a few questions about safe sex, during your appointment might make you feel more comfortable.
- Emphasizing to partners that youre concerned about their safety, as well as your own, can lead to more productive conversations.
How Do I Test For Chlamydia
If you think you’re at risk of having chlamydia or have any symptoms you should get tested as soon as possible. You can have a test even if you do not have symptoms.
Getting tested for chlamydia is easy and doesnt hurt. A healthcare professional will ask for a urine sample or take a swab from the area that might be infected, such as inside the vagina or inside the anus. If youve had anal or oral sex, you may have a swab taken from your anus or throat.
In some countries you can get a self-testing kit to do at home.
Its important to regularly test for chlamydia, even if you dont have any symptoms. Being treated as soon as possible will reduce your risk of developing any serious or long-term complications.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Hiv And Stds
- Avoid or put off having sex. If you do have sex, use a male latex or female condom every time.
- Latex male condoms and female condoms, when used the right way every time, are very effective in preventing HIV and many other STDs. Condoms may prevent the spread of other STDs like HPV or genital herpes, only when the condom covers the infected areas or sores.
- Talk with your partner about HIV and STDs.
- Don’t share drug “works”
- Get STD and HIV counseling and testing.
To find out if you might have an STD, visit your doctor or clinic as soon as you can.
Who To Test For Chlamydia
Anyone with the following genital symptoms should not have sex until they see a healthcare provider:
- A discharge
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Unusual sores, or a rash
Anyone having oral, anal, or vaginal sex with a partner recently diagnosed with an STD should see a healthcare provider.
Because chlamydia usually has no symptoms, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs can reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women.31,41 CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25. CDC also recommends screening for older women with risk factors, such as new or multiple partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.40 Screen and treat those who are pregnant as noted in How does chlamydia affect a pregnant person and their baby? Women who are sexually active should discuss their risk factors with a healthcare provider to determine if more frequent screening is necessary.
Routine screening is not necessary for men. However, consider screening sexually active young men in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia. This can include adolescent clinics, correctional facilities, and STD clinics. Consider this when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.40
Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
Sexually active people can get chlamydia through vaginal, anal, or oral sex without a condom with a partner who has chlamydia.
Sexually active young people are at a higher risk of getting chlamydia. This is due to behaviors and biological factors common among young people. Gay and bisexual men are also at risk since chlamydia can spread through oral and anal sex.
If you are sexually active, have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider. Ask them if you should get tested for chlamydia or other STDs. Gay or bisexual men and pregnant people should also get tested for chlamydia. If you are a sexually active woman, you should get tested for chlamydia every year if you are:
- Younger than 25 years old.
- 25 years and older with risk factors, such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.
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Is Chlamydia Serious
Although chlamydia does not usually cause any symptoms and can normally be treated with a short course of antibiotics, it can be serious if it’s not treated early on.
If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of your body and lead to long-term health problems, especially in women.
In women, untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease , ectopic pregnancy and infertility.
In men, in rare cases, chlamydia can spread to the testicles and epididymis , causing them to become painful and swollen. This is known as epididymitis or epididymo-orchitis .
It can also sometimes cause reactive arthritis in men and women.
This is why it’s important to get tested and treated as soon as possible if you think you might have chlamydia.
Testing for chlamydia is done with a urine test or a swab test.
You do not always need a physical examination by a nurse or doctor.
Anyone can get a free and confidential chlamydia test at a sexual health clinic, a genitourinary medicine clinic or a GP surgery.
In England, if you’re a woman under 25 years old, you may be offered a chlamydia test when you visit some health services, for example a pharmacy or GP. This offer is part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme .
If you’re offered a chlamydia test you should consider taking it.
If you’re a woman, sexually active and under 25 in England, it’s recommended that you have a chlamydia test once a year, and when you have sex with new or casual partners.
How Is It Treated
Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. If you have been diagnosed with chlamydia its also important to tell your recent sexual partner, as they may need to be tested and treated. If you dont feel comfortable telling them in person or over the phone, you can take advantage of our free Let them know SMS service here.
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How It’s Passed On
You can get chlamydia through:
- vaginal, oral or anal sex without condoms
- sharing sex toys that are not washed or covered with a condom each time they are used on a different person
- your genitals coming into contact with your partners genitals
- infected semen or vaginal fluid getting in your eye.
It’s not yet known whether chlamydia is spread on fingers when you touch an infected part of the body, then touch other parts of your body or someone elses.
If you are living with HIV, having untreated chlamydia could make it more likely that youll pass on HIV during unprotected sex. But if HIV drugs have made your viral load undetectable then chlamydia or other infections dont appear to make you more likely to pass on HIV.