This archived article was written by: Nick Critchlow
The cases of the sexually transmitted infection Chlamydia have risen three times since January on CEU campus.
According to the Center for Disease control, each year there are approximately 19 million new sexually transmitted infections in the United States, and almost half of those are among youth ages 15 to 24.
One of the reasons STIs spread so quickly is because people think intercourse is necessary for infection. This is a myth; a person can get some STI infections through skin-to-skin contact with an infected area or sore.
For those of you who do not know exactly what Chlamydia is, it is a sexually transmitted bacterium. If left untreated it can cause sterility in both women and men. In women, it infects the cervix and can spread to the urethra, fallopian tubes and ovaries. In men, it infects the urethra and may spread to the testicles.
A couple of ways that the disease is spread is through intercourse or from birth canal to the fetus. If left untreated over a long period of time, it may affect a woman’s future ability to become pregnant. It is rarely spread from hand or eye contact. Some of the classic symptoms of infection are painful urination or pain and swelling in the pelvic region.
If you are involved in a sexual relationship, it is possible that you have it and do not know. In fact 75 percent of women and 50 percent of men with Chlamydia show no symptoms of infection. “It is one of those infections that neither you nor your partner will know that you have,” says Health and Wellness Clinic Director Danielle Pendergrass. “It is a very silent but very destructive disease.
This disease is so inconspicuous that even if a person goes to a doctor or health care provider for a checkup, it may not be discovered. Some of the ways that a test can be done to determine whether a person has an STI such as Chlamydia is through urine analysis or having a pelvic examination.
Some local health clinics such as Planned Parenthood can also test and treat people for Chlamydia as well as other sexually transmitted diseases.
CEU’s Health and Wellness Clinic can perform it on women and men. The price is $25; this price is based on a person’s ability to pay and is subsidized through Title X money and United Way.
It takes about a week for the results. If you have tested positive for Chlamydia, you and your partner will be treated with antibiotics, which should clear the infection in a week. Follow up testing may be suggested months after treatment.
If you are a college student who has been diagnosed with an STI, there are organizations that can help. If you need further information on STIs, you can call the National STD hotline at 1-800-227-8922.