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Chlamydia

What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is an infection caused by bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis. It is one of the most common STDs in the United States, with 2.8 million new infections every year in the United States. Young people are much more likely to get chlamydia than older people.

What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

Chlamydia is known as a “silent” disease because the majority of infected people have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure. Males might have a burning and itching around the opening of the penis, discharge from the penis, or a burning sensation when urinating. Pain and swelling in the testicles is uncommon.

Males or females who have receptive anal intercourse may acquire chlamydial infection in the rectum, which can cause rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding. Chlamydia can also be found in the throats of males and females who have oral sex with an infected partner.

What is the treatment for chlamydia?

Chlamydia is easily treated and cured with antibiotics. Some medications only have to be taken once, and others have to be taken for a week. Your doctor will let you know which one you have. Make sure that you take your medications when instructed and finish taking all the medication (even if your symptoms go away).

What will happen if I have chlamydia, but I don't get treated?

Males with chlamydia who don’t get treated may develop epididymitis (pain and swelling in one or both testicles).  In rare cases, this may prevent a man from being able to father children. Females with chlamydia who don’t get treated might develop pelvic inflammatory disease and may be unable to get pregnant as a result. Untreated chlamydia can also increase a person’s risk of getting or spreading HIV—the virus that causes AIDS.

How can I get tested for chlamydia?

Urine and swab tests are available to test for chlamydia. You can visit the Druid or Eastern STD clinics for testing. You can also get a free STD testing kit mailed to your home at www.iwantthekit.org. It is very important to test all sites (penis, anus, throat, vagina) where you may have been exposed.