Chlamydia: Latest Facts, Symptoms, Treatments, and Complications

How Does One Get Chlamydia?

The Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium is present in infected seminal and vaginal fluids. Therefore, you can get it through sexual acts – vaginal, oral, or anal.

It is also possible to get it through direct contact with a tissue that is infected, such as the conjunctiva. A pregnant woman with chlamydia infection can transmit it to her baby during childbirth as well.

People who are at great risk of becoming infected include:

  • Persons who have sex without using a condom or dental dam
  • Those that have multiple sex partners
  • People sharing sex toys that aren’t washed between uses or covered with a fresh condom before another person uses them

It is not until there is penile penetration or you engage in a sexual act that you can contract chlamydia. People do get infected without an orgasm or ejaculation occurring. An infection may also occur when you touch the semen or vaginal fluid from an infected person.

Chlamydia Trends

Researchers revealed in a Global Burden of Disease Study report that there were about 61 million chlamydia cases globally in 2015.

The infection occurs more among women, according to estimates by experts.

Of all sexually transmitted infections, this one ranks among the most prevalent. The CDC says it accounts for the highest proportion of all reported STD cases since 1994.

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In America, chlamydia incidence has been on an upward trajectory, almost consistently, in the past 1-2 decades. It rose from about 251 to 453 cases per 100,000 population between 2000 and 2011. The reported cases were up to roughly 540 per 100,000 population in 2018.

The 2018 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance report shows that there were more than 1.7 million cases during the year. According to the CDC, the actual number of cases should be significantly greater when considering the many cases that are not reported.

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