Drug Treatment Of Common Stds: Part I Herpes Syphilis Urethritis Chlamydia And Gonorrhea
CAROL WOODWARD, PHARM.D., West Virginia University Hospitals, Morgantown, West Virginia
MELANIE A. FISHER, M.D., M.SC., West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
Am Fam Physician. 1999 Oct 1 60:1387-1394.
This is Part I of a two-part article on drug treatment of common sexually transmitted diseases. Part II, Vaginal Infections, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and Genital Warts, will appear in the next issue of AFP.
Several advances have been made in the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases . These advances have been incorporated into the 1998 Guidelines for the Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .1
Highly effective single-dose oral therapies are now available for most common curable STDs. Single-dose regimens may be used for the treatment of chancroid, nongonococcal urethritis, uncomplicated gonococcal infections, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, candidal vaginitis and chlamydial infections.
Improved therapies are now available for the treatment of genital herpes and human papillomavirus infections. New regimens have been approved for the use of acyclovir in the treatment of genital herpes. In addition, two new antiviral agents, valacyclovir and famciclovir , have been labeled for the treatment of genital herpes. Patient-applied therapies are now recommended for management of HPV.
How Do I Know If I Have An Sti
Dont wait until you show symptoms, as you might never get any. If youve had unprotected sex then its important to get tested to make sure that you dont have an STI. Especially because infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea can be symptomless, you run the risk of infecting your partner, or any future partner.
You can visit a sexual health clinic to get tested where they will ask you questions about your sexual history before examining you. The tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea involve giving a urine sample and possibly a swab test from the vagina. If you prefer, you can order a test kit online to do at home.
If you test positive for one, or think that you have symptoms of one, then its advisable to get tested for all common STIs. It is possible to have multiple sexually transmitted infections.
How Is Gonorrhea Testing Done
For gonorrhea testing, you only need to provide a urine sample. The method used is the nucleic acid amplification test . The aim of this investigation is to detect the presence of bacteria that triggers gonorrhea. If the bacteria are detected in the sample, you would test positive and have an option of discussing treatment with the doctor in the clinic.
With gonorrhea, its important to start treatment fast.
If you allow yourself to go too long undiagnosed, treating the disease becomes far more complicated.
Simply walk in to STD Express Clinic and get tested. Same day treatment option also available at an additional cost of $50.
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Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
- What is a sexually transmitted infection ?
A sexually transmitted infection is an infection spread by sexual contact. There are many STIs. This FAQ focuses on chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. These STIs can cause long-term health problems and problems during pregnancy. Having an STI also increases the risk of getting human immunodeficiency virus if you are exposed to it.
- What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STI in the United States. Chlamydia is caused by a type of bacteria, which can be passed from person to person during vaginal sex, oral sex, or anal sex. Infections can occur in the mouth, reproductive organs, urethra, and rectum. In women, the most common place for infection is the cervix .
- What are the risk factors for chlamydia?
The following factors increase the risk of getting chlamydia:
Having a new sex partner
Having more than one sex partner
Having a sex partner who has more than one sex partner
Having sex with someone who has an STI
Having an STI now or in the past
Not using condoms consistently when not in a mutually monogamous relationship
Exchanging sex for money or drugs
Chlamydia usually does not cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may show up between a few days and several weeks after infection. They may be very mild and can be mistaken for a urinary tract or vaginal infection. The most common symptoms in women include
yellow discharge from the vagina or urethra
yellow vaginal discharge
Can Chlamydia Be Protected Against Chlamydia And Gonorrhea
The only certain means to avoid chlamydia is to not have genital, anal, or foreplay.
Proper use of latex prophylactics significantly lowers however does not remove, the risk of capturing or spreading out chlamydia. If your or your companion is allergic to latex, you can make use of polyurethane prophylactics.
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Treating Sexual Contacts Of Gonorrhea And Chlamydia Cases: A Critical Component Of Std Control Among Ai/an Populations
In the wake of rising gonorrhea cases amidst high background chlamydia rates among AI/AN populations,, multiple Indian Health Service Areas have been faced with the need to expand sexually transmitted disease services to accommodate increased demand and disease burden. National recommendations include chlamydia screening of young sexually active women ages 25 and under, and some service Areas have expanded this screening recommendation to include men, broader age groups, and additional infections, depending on local morbidity. Screening for gonorrhea among women tends to follow that of chlamydia as the widely used Nucleic Acid Amplification test for chlamydia is automatically paired with a gonorrhea test. However, within IHS Areas that do not have screening recommendations for asymptomatic men, diagnosis following symptomatic presentation or referral as a partner to a female case remain the predominant gonorrhea and chlamydia identification measures among males.
Who Does Chlamydia Affect
Anyone whos sexually active can get chlamydia. The bacteria that causes chlamydia gets transmitted through vaginal fluid and semen, which means that people of all genders who have sex can become infected with chlamydia and infect their partners, too. If youre pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass it on to your newborn.
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Compared To 2019 And 2020 Data Cases Of Chlamydia Remained Similar To Past Northland Data While Gonorrhea Cases Have Continued To Increase In The Region
DULUTH The Northland’s seven Minnesota counties diagnosed 1,075 cases of chlamydia in 2021, according to the Minnesota Department of Health’s 2021 Sexually Transmitted Disease statistics and report. Cases were slightly higher than 2020, but were lower than in 2019.
According to Department of Health staff, it is believed cases in 2020 were lower across all categories of STDs and HIV because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The CDC also highlighted that they saw a decrease in 2020 due to COVID, and due to a decline in screening of chlamydia and gonorrhea,” Khalid Bo-Subait, STD surveillance coordinator, said in a webinar on Wednesday. “The CDC believes, similar to what I have been saying, is that with chlamydia we saw a decline due to the nature of it tending to be more asymptomatic, especially amongst females, which is where we get most of our cases for the total counts for the year.”
Chlamydia was the most prevalent STD diagnosed in the Northland and across Minnesota in 2021, followed by gonorrhea. Gonorrhea saw a 5% increase across the state from 2020 to 2021, while chlamydia saw a 3% increase statewide. There were 22,578 cases of chlamydia diagnosed in Minnesota and 9,671 cases of gonorrhea in 2021. In the last decade, chlamydia rates in Minnesota have increased by 34%, and gonorrhea’s rate of infection has increased by 324%.
Diagnosis And Management Of Gonococcal Infections
MEJEBI T. MAYOR, MD, JD, Providence Hospital, Washington, District of Columbia
MICHELLE A. ROETT, MD, MPH, Georgetown University/Providence Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program, Colmar Manor, Maryland
KELECHI A. UDUHIRI, MD, MPH, MS, Franklin Square Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program, Baltimore, Maryland
Am Fam Physician. 2012 Nov 15 86:931-938.
Patient information: See related handout on gonorrhea, written by the authors of this article.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , approximately 700,000 new cases of Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection occur annually in the United States, making it the second most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection after Chlamydia trachomatis.1 Reported rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea are highest among females 15 to 19 years of age.1 Incarcerated women younger than 35 years also exhibit high rates of infection.2
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
The USPSTF recommends that all newborns receive ocular topical medication for prophylaxis against gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum.
CDC = Centers for Disease Control and Prevention USPSTF = U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
A = consistent, good-quality patient-oriented evidence B = inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence C = consensus, disease-oriented evidence, usual practice, expert opinion, or case series. For information about the SORT evidence rating system, go to .
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Get Your Accurate Confidential Std Test At Arcpoint Labs Of Fort Myers
Taking a proactive role in your sexual health shouldnt be stressful, which is why ARCpoint Labs makes it simple to receive discreet, professional STD testing in Fort Myers. Our professional technicians provide chlamydia testing, gonorrhea testing, and a wide range of other STD testing options, so you can customize your services to suit your needs. Here, youll have the advantage of quick, hassle-free lab services, making it easier than ever to take charge of your sexual health and protect yourself from untreated STDs. Whether youre concerned about potential STD symptoms or simply want to take preventive measures, ARCpoint Labs has a testing solution for you.
Learn more about our selection of STD testing and other lab services by contacting ARCpoint Labs of Fort Myers today.
Image Credit: getty, fizkes
When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you suspect you have gonorrhea based on your symptoms, you should get tested. You are at a higher risk if you are having unprotected sex or if you have multiple sexual partners.
If you have had unprotected sex with someone who has tested positive for gonorrhea, you should be tested regardless of whether you have symptoms. This is because many infected individuals remain asymptomatic but are still at risk of developing serious complications.
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What Do I Need To Know If I Get Treated For Chlamydia
If youre getting treated for chlamydia:
- Take all of your medicine the way your nurse or doctor tells you to, even if any symptoms you may be having go away sooner. The infection stays in your body until you finish the antibiotics.
- Your partner should also get treated for chlamydia so you dont re-infect each other or anyone else.
- Dont have sex for 7 days. If you only have 1 dose of medication, wait for 7 days after you take it before having sex. If youre taking medicine for 7 days, dont have sex until youve finished all of your pills.
- Get tested again in 3-4 months to make sure your infection is gone.
- Dont share your medicine with anyone. Your nurse or doctor may give you a separate dose of antibiotics for your partner. Make sure you both take all of the medicine you get.
- Even if you finish your treatment and the chlamydia is totally gone, its possible to get a new chlamydia infection again if youre exposed in the future. Chlamydia isnt a one-time-only deal. So use condoms and get tested regularly.
What Happens If You Dont Get Treated For Chlamydia
Even though chlamydia is common and doesnt usually cause any symptoms, it can become a big deal if its not caught and treated early.
Chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes if it goes untreated for a long time. This can cause you to have pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage that leads to pain, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. So getting tested regularly for chlamydia really lowers your chances of getting PID.
If you have a penis, a chlamydia infection can spread to your epididymis if its left untreated, and can cause chronic joint pain. Rarely, it can make you infertile.
Having chlamydia may increase your chances of getting or spreading HIV.
If you have chlamydia during your pregnancy and dont treat it, you can pass it to your baby when youre giving birth. Chlamydia can also cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns, and it also increases the risk of delivering your baby too early.
Testing and treatment for chlamydia is quick, easy, and the best way to avoid all of these problems.
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How Do Individuals Obtain Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is transferred via sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of an infected companion. Climaxing does not need to happen for gonorrhea to be sent or acquired. Gonorrhea can additionally be spread out perinatally from mommy to child during giving birth.
Individuals who have actually had gonorrhea and got treatment may be reinfected if they have sexual contact with a person contaminated with gonorrhea.
Treatment For Chlamydia Is Quick And Easy
Two antibiotics are most often used for treating chlamydia:
- Azithromycin The main treatment for chlamydia is one gram of azithromycin, taken one time, says , deputy director of clinical services for public health with the Seattle and King County HIV and STD Program in Washington. That one gram comes as either two pills or four pills. It is not expensive.
- Doxycycline If your doctor prescribes doxycycline, you will take two pills daily for one week. It costs somewhat more than azithromycin.
Antibiotics can also cure chlamydia in infants, who can get the infection from their mothers, and treatment is essential for them. Without treatment, infants infected with chlamydia can develop conjunctivitis, which can cause blindness, or pneumonia, which can be fatal.
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Treating Babies With Gonorrhoea
Babies with signs of a gonorrhoea infection at birth, or who have an increased risk of infection because their mother has gonorrhoea, will usually be given antibiotics immediately after they’re born.
This does not harm the baby, and helps prevent blindness and other complications of gonorrhoea.
Page last reviewed: 15 September 2021 Next review due: 15 September 2024
What Causes Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection. You can get infected when the bacteria enter your body through the penis, anus, vagina or mouth, often during unprotected sex. You can also get or pass gonorrhea through sharing sex toys that havent been washed or covered with a new condom. If a pregnant woman has gonorrhea, she can pass it to her baby during birth.
In women, the most common site of infection is the cervix. The cervix is the opening from the vagina to the uterus .
In men, the infection tends to start in the urethra, the tube that helps urine exit the body.
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How To Get Tested
A person can meet with a doctor to get a diagnosis for either of these infections.
The doctor will collect bodily fluids to test for the infection. The test can use either a urine sample or a sample from the vagina or penis, which a doctor will collect with a cotton swab.
Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, cover sexually transmitted infection testing completely. If a person does not have health insurance, they can go to a free clinic, their local health departments STI clinic, a student health center, or an urgent care clinic.
Because both chlamydia and gonorrhea can present with no symptoms, it is important that people who are sexually active get tested regularly.
After a doctor has determined which infection a person has contracted, they will prescribe an antibiotic.
People should take the full course of antibiotics and wait an additional 7 days before having sex again. This helps prevent a person from spreading the infection to another person and possibly reinfecting themselves later.
A person can contract both chlamydia and gonorrhea again, even if they have already experienced and treated the STI before.
Just Diagnosed Next Steps After Testing Positive For Gonorrhea Or Chlamydia
If youve just found out that you have gonorrhea or chlamydia, you may be trying to figure out what to do next. Here are the three most important steps that you can take:
WHY?Many people with gonorrhea and chlamydia dont have symptoms. Why does this matter? Because an untreated infection can lead to serious and permanent health problems, even if you never have symptoms. Gonorrhea and chlamydia can be cured with the right medicine from your doctor. Just make sure you take all of your medicine exactly as your doctor tells you to.
WHERE?Your regular doctor can prescribe antibiotics to cure the STD. But if you dont have insurance or want to see someone else for treatment, there are other low-cost or free options. You can get tested and treated at your local health departments STD clinic, a family planning clinic, a student health center, or an urgent care clinic. You can also find a clinic using GetTested and ask if they offer treatment for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- In women, untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease which can lead to health problems like ectopic pregnancy or infertility .
- In men, chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause a painful condition in the tubes attached to the testicles. In rare cases, this may prevent him from being able to have children.
- Untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV the virus that causes AIDS.
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