By far, the most common STD in Maricopa County is Chlamydia. Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and usually is transmitted through vaginal or anal intercourse.
Men may experience a burning sensation during urination and discharge from the urethra but usually they have minimal or no symptoms. Symptoms may appear 1 to 3 weeks after exposure.
Women may experience a burning sensation upon urination, vaginal
discharge or lower abdominal pain. Women, however, often don't have any
symptoms and therefore must rely on their partners to inform them that
they have the disease.
In neonates (a human infant less than
one month old), a Chlamydial infection results from exposure to the
mothers infected cervix at the time of birth. Prenatal screening of
pregnant women helps prevent this infection. Chlamydial trachomatis
infection in newborns is often recognized by conjunctivitis, or pinkeye,
that develops 5-12 days after birth. Sexual abuse should be considered
when cases are found in preadolescent children.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Antibiotics are prescribed for Chlamydia and usually clear up the
infection in one to two weeks. Treatment is recommended for all sexual
partners of people infected with Chlamydia even if the infection is only
highly suspected and symptoms are absent. Otherwise, the infection can
be passed back and forth between partners.
ointment administered at birth to newborns does not prevent the
perinatal transmission of Chlamydia from mother to infant.
If left untreated, Chlamydial infections can be serious. Men can
experience inflammation of the urethra and epididymis (part of the male
reproductive system), and women can get urethral infections and
inflammation of the cervix and other pelvic organs. Conjunctivitis or
pinkeye may occur during the first 2 weeks after birth, or Chlamydial
pneumonia may develop in the newborn.
For more information on
Chlamydia, contact Maricopa County Public Health Division of STDs at
602-506-1678 or visit the Centers for Disease Control website.