Let's Talk Sex
July 19, 2011
Treatment of Chlamydia

Over the last 3 weeks we have been looking at the chlamydia infection. We agreed that it can be treated, and, as with most bacterial infections, you can be cured of it. However, before and even while it is being cured, it can wreak havoc on the body by causing scar tissue to damage the sperm tubes in men and the fallopian tubes in women.{{more}} We also discussed why some people’s tests can be positive and others negative, even though they are “sleeping together”.

There are three groups of antibiotics used to treat chlamydia infections. These are the group containing erythromycin, clarithromycin and azithromycin; the tetracycline group; and the floroquinolone group, containing ofloxacin and levofloxacin. The treatment regime varies, depending on the type and acuteness of the infection. It can range from a single dose treatment to a 2-week treatment. Each patient varies. It reminds me of a patient to whom I gave one antibiotic, who returned asking for the more popular antibiotic, because it was not mentioned “on the Internet”. Antibiotic, treatment may sometimes need to be repeated if the symptoms do not improve.

There are 2 issues that need to be discussed in the treatment of all infectious diseases that ensure proper treatment. They are contact tracing and ping-pong infections. In the former, the woman or man has had multiple partners with whom they have had unprotected sex (in which case they should be tested for other sexually transmitted infections). These contacts need to be traced, tested, and treated if positive. This is the only way in which we can successfully eradicate this infection. I have had patients who have had to make the hard decision to tell the wife or girlfriend after he was treated because she now had to be tested, and possibly treated, and obviously she (and sometimes he, Women cheat too!) will want to know “What am I being tested for and why?”. Sometimes some men choose not to tell the “one night stands and booty calls” as they are too angry; after all he caught “something from her”. Still others just could not be bothered even to tell their partner at home, after he or she had strayed. This is very frightening, but it happens, and unfortunately too often. Hence, some patients wonder why are they not getting rid of their infections.

This brings us to the final point of ping-pong infections. This occurs when one partner is treated out of sync with the other, so they are never completely free of the infection at the same time. In which case, the man or the woman is first treated. He goes home and tells his partner, who then goes to get tested and treated. Before, or during the time when the second partner is being treated, they have sex. So, the untreated or partially treated individual reinfects the previously treated partner. When the second partner is finished treatment, the first partner has now gotten the infection again. So, he comes back with “another infection”, saying rightly so that his partner has been treated, and “he don’t know where the infection came from”. He also insists that he has been faithful. This cycle of treatment, infection, treatment, re-infection can continue for a long time, unless both partners are treated at the same time. That’s why it is so important for both partners to be treated at the same time, and that they be honest with each other, and that they both refrain from sex until the treatment is finished. Ping-Pong infection is even more common when there is a third party involved, or there is a long delay between the testing and treatment in one partner and the other.

For comments or question contact:

Dr. Rohan Deshong

Tel: (784) 456-2785

email: deshong@vincysurf.com