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According to Susan Shinkus, STD Communicable Disease Nurse: “The number of Chlamydia cases reported to the health department has more than doubled. 58% of cases are in 13 – 22 year olds, 26% in 23 – 30 year olds, 14% in 31 – 40 year olds, and 2% in those 41 years of age or older. 67% of these reported cases have been in females and 33% of the cases in males. This increase is concerning and the provider community has been alerted to increase testing to promptly identify and treat the infection.”
Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI). 50% of men and 80% of women infected with Chlamydia may have no symptoms. Even when Chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner. The only way to know for sure if you have an STI is to get yourself tested. A simple urine test is an accurate way to determine if an STI is present.
Chlamydia can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. When taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications later on. Medication for Chlamydia should not be shared with anyone. You should not have sex again until you and your sex partner(s) have completed treatment. If your doctor prescribes a single dose of medication, you should wait seven days after taking the medicine before having sex. If your doctor prescribes a medicine for you to take for seven days, you should wait until you have taken all of the doses before having sex.
It is very important for individuals diagnosed with Chlamydia or any STI to inform their sex partners of their potential exposure. Re-infection will reoccur if sex partners are not treated for the infection. Since informing partners can be difficult, the Health Department has specially trained staff members who can help notify partners anonymously. Repeat infection with Chlamydia is common. You should be tested again about three months after you are treated, even if your sex partner(s) was treated.
To decrease the risk of Chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infections:
- Practice abstinence
- Use condoms correctly and with every sexual partner
- Practice Mutual Monogamy
- Reduce the number of sex partners
- Arm yourself with basic information concerning sexually transmitted infections
Individuals wanting Chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infection information or screening, may contact their primary care provider. The Stickney Public Health Department also offers information on testing sites. If you need further information, please contact Stickney Public Health District at 708-424-9200 and ask to speak with the Public Health Nursing Department.
To learn more about Chlamydia and the risk behaviors for the infection, visit CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/std.
Source: Stickney Public Health District