Rates of chlamydia have continually increased over the last ten years. In 2016, chlamydia was the second most common STI diagnosed in gay men, making up more than a quarter of all new cases. So what do you need to you know?
1. What is it? Chlamydia is a bacterial infection which can affect your penis, arse, throat or eyes. It often shows no symptoms but can cause pain and a discharge in the infected area. If untreated it can spread to the testicles, causing them to become painful and swollen, which can go on affect fertility. It can also cause inflammation of your joints, eyes and urethra – which is the fancy word for the tube you piss/cum through.
2. How is it passed on? Chlamydia is most commonly passed on by fucking or getting fucked without a condom, but it can also be passed through oral sex or rimming.
3. How do I prevent it? Using condoms will prevent many cases of chlamydia. If you wanted to reduce the risks further, you’d have to use condoms for oral sex. There’s still a risk even if he doesn’t cum in your mouth.
4. How do I know I’ve got it? The most common symptoms include pain when pissing, pain in the testicles and a yellow/ white discharge from the tip of the penis. If the rectum (your arse) is infected it can cause pain and a discharge. Symptoms of a throat infection are uncommon. Almost half of men with chlamydia don’t experience any symptoms at all, but are still infectious, so they can pass it on to other sexual partners without knowing it. A sexual health clinic can test you for chlamydia and this should form part of routine sexual health check-ups. They do this by taking a urine sample or swab from your penis, and swabs from your arse and throat.
5. How do I get it treated? Chlamydia is usually treatable with a short course of antibiotics. If you have chlamydia you should inform your recent sexual partners. It’s important that you tell any regular partner so that they can get tested and treated too. You then need to avoid sex until the treatment has taken effect (usually a week) as it’s common for people to pass it back and forth to each other. If this happens, you’ll need treatment again.
6. How often should I get tested? You should get tested if you or any partners have symptoms or someone tells you that they have an STI. It’s recommended that all sexually active gay men get tested for HIV and STIs at least once a year, or every three months if you’re having condom-less sex.