Sexual Responsibility Week: Day 2

Posted on February 15, 2011

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Welcome to Day 2 of Sexual Responsibility week as we continue to promote STI education and awareness!

Chlamydia

What is it? Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. It is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease.

How do you get Chlamydia? Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Chlamydia can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth.

What are the symptoms? Chlamydia generally has no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, you might notice a burning feeling when you urinate or abnormal discharge from your vagina or penis. Chlamydia can also infect the rectum and throat. In woman, if untreated, the infection of the reproductive system can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause infertility or serious problems with pregnancy.

How is it treated? You can cure Chlamydia with antibiotics. A single dose of azithromycin or a week of doxycycline (twice daily) are the most commonly used treatments. Women whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple infections increases a woman’s risk of serious reproductive health complications, including infertility.

Syphilis

What is it? Like Chlamydia, syphilis is also caused by bacteria. How do you get Syphilis? You usually get syphilis from sexual contact with someone who already has it. It can also pass from mother to baby during pregnancy.

What are the symptoms? The early stage of syphilis usually causes a single, small, painless sore. Sometimes it causes swelling in nearby lymph nodes. If you do not treat it, syphilis usually causes a non-itchy skin rash, often on your hands and feet. Many people do not notice symptoms for years

How is it treated? Syphilis is easy to cure in its early stages with antibiotics. Treatment will kill the syphilis bacterium and prevent further damage, but it will not repair damage already done.

There is more to come as we continue to promote STI awareness and education! In the meantime you may call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 to find out how to get tested, or if you need additional information on sexually transmitted infections, take a look at the National library of Medicine here.

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