What is Chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. It can infect the urethra, cervix and rectum in women, and the penis and rectum in men. It can also infect the throat in both men and women.

Prevalence of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmissible infection (STI) in Australia, particularly among young men and women, with more than half of all cases occurring in the 15 to 25 age group.

Chlamydia cases have been increasing since 1998 for both men and women in all states and territories since 1998. The rate of testing for chlamydial infection has increased over time as well, which is likely to be partly responsible for the ongoing increase in number of cases.

Chlamydia Prevalence Graph

2008 Annual Surveillance Report: HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and Sexually Transmissible Infections in Australia

How is Chlamydia transmitted?

Someone can catch Chlamydia by having vaginal or anal sex without a condom with someone who has the infection. Occasionally it is passed on by oral sex. Additionally, it is possible for a baby to catch Chlamydia at birth if the mother is infected.

Sexual partners of those with Chlamydia, who were exposed to vaginal or anal sex without a condom, are at high risk of catching the infection. In order to prevent the potential serious complications of Chlamydia, all sexual partners the infected person within the last 6 months should be tested and treated.



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