Facts About Chlamydia: Everything You Always Wanted to Know

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A few facts about one of the most common sexually transmitted infections: chlamydia.

A Proud City

Photo: bribriTO (Flickr)

A recent Planned Parenthood condom campaign in Canada.

Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmissible infection (STI) in the United States and is particularly prevalent among young women men ages 15 to 24.

Quite often, women and men who are infected with chlamydia don’t notice any symptoms of the infection. Fortunately, chlamydia can usually be easily cured with certain antibiotics. However, if left untreated, it can lead to problems with inflammation, scarringĀ and infertility.

Reducing Chlamydia Infection Risk

Clearly, abstaining from sexual activity such as vaginal intercourse, oral sex, anal sex or even dry humping that involves getting partners’ genitals near each other is the surest way to prevent chlamydia transmission.

If you do have one of these types of sex with someone, you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming infected with chlamydia (or some other STIs) by using a condom. Note, that in order for condoms to have maximum effectiveness, partners need to use them correctly and during the entire sexual act. Wearing a condom for a little while, then taking it off and finishing sex, does NOT qualify as safer sex.

What Can You Do?

Become educated about chlamydia on the CDC’s web site (they have a very thorough Fact Sheet) and also make sure you know how to use condoms correctly and consistently.

Indiana University students who would like information about sexual health can ask their Resident Hall Assistants, student organization presidentsĀ or Greek House social or education chairs to request a Kinsey Confidential program – email us for more information.

Students at other campuses can contact their campus Health Center or local Planned Parenthood affiliate to ask about sexual health information workshops or education programs.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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