Chlamydia directions for sexual partners

Directions for sexual partners of persons with Chlamydia.

Important information for your health

Your partner has recently been diagnosed with Chlamydia infection.

Chlamydia trachomatis is a sexually transmissible infection (STI) that you can get from having any kind of sex (oral, vaginal or anal) with a person who already has it. You may have been exposed and for many people there will be no signs of infection. The good news is that it is easily treated.

You have been given a medication called azithromycin to treat your Chlamydia. Your partner may have given you the actual medicine, or a prescription that you can take to a pharmacy. This document tells you about Chlamydia and how to treat it.

The best way to take care of this infection is to see your own doctor or attend Clinic 34 right away. If you cannot get to a doctor in the next several days you should take the azithromycin now.

Even if you decide to take the medicine, it is very important to see a doctor as soon as you can to get tested for other STIs. People can have more than one STI at the same time and having an STI can increase the risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV. Azithromycin will not cure other STI infections.  

Make sure you discuss getting HIV tested with your doctor.

Symptoms of chlamydia

Some people with Chlamydia have symptoms, but many do not. Symptoms may include pain in your testicles (balls), pelvis or lower part of your belly. You may also have pain when you urinate (pee) or when having sex. Many people with Chlamydia infection do not know they are infected because they feel fine.

Information before taking the medicine

The medicine is very safe. However do not take if any of the following are true:

  • you are female and have abdominal pain, pain during sex, vomiting, or fever
  • you are male and have pain or swelling in the testicles (balls) or fever
  • you have ever had a bad reaction, rash, breathing problems or allergic reaction after taking azithromycin or other antibiotics. People who are allergic to some antibiotics may be allergic to other types. If you do have allergies to antibiotics, you should check with your doctor before taking this medicine
  • you have a serious long-term illness, such as kidney, heart or liver disease
  • you are currently taking another prescription medication, including medicine for diabetes.

If any of these circumstances exist, or if you are not sure, do not take the azithromycin. Instead you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will do some tests and find the best treatment for you.

Warnings

If you do not take the medicine to cure Chlamydia infection, you may re-infect your partner, or develop complications of the infection yourself. These complications include pelvic infection for women, and infection of the testis for men. If you are a woman, you may have difficulty in getting pregnant in the future.

If you are pregnant, it is safe to take the azithromycin, but see your doctor first to exclude other STIs.

How to take the medicine

  • you should take these pills with food
  • you should have 2 pills of azithromycin. Each pill contains 500g of the medicine. You should take both with water at the same time. You need to take 2 pills to be cured
  • do not take antacids for 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking the azithromycin pills
  • do not share or give this medicine to anyone else.

Side effects

Side effects are uncommon and not serious but you may experience:

  • slightly upset stomach
  • diarrhoea
  • dizziness
  • vaginal yeast infection.

Allergic reaction

The risk of an allergic reaction to this medication is very low.

Next steps

Now that you have taken azithromycin, do not have sex for the next 7 days after you have taken the medicine, whether or not you use a condom. This includes oral, vaginal or anal sex. It can take 7 days for the medicine to cure Chlamydia. If you have sex without a condom, or with a condom that breaks, during those first 7 days, you can still pass on the infection to your sex partners. You can also get re-infected yourself and then will need to be treated again.

If you have any other sex partners, tell them you are getting treated for Chlamydia, so they can get treated too.

People who are infected with Chlamydia once are very likely to get it again. It is a good idea to get tested for Chlamydia and other STIs three months from now to be sure you did not get another infection.

Contact

If you have any questions about the medicine, Chlamydia or other STIs, call your local GP or the Centre for Disease Control's Clinic 34.

Last updated: 27 June 2017