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Q & A with Dr. Cullins: STIs/STDs

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    I'm the manager of a busy town bar and recently one of my staff told me he had been diagnosed with chlamydia. Is it OK for him to continue working with food and drink? Can the chlamydia be passed on to other staff or customers?

    You don't need to worry. It's perfectly fine for your staff person to keep doing his job. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that can be passed from one person to another by sexual contact or from mother to baby during childbirth. It is usually transmitted by vaginal or anal intercourse, and, less commonly, oral sex. Chlamydia is not passed through casual contact. Shaking hands, hugging, kissing, and sharing bathroom facilities or utensils for food and drink will not pass chlamydia or most other sexually transmitted infections.

    Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted infection. Even though it often has no symptoms, it can cause sterility and disabling arthritis in women and men if left untreated. Antibiotic treatment for chlamydia can be given in one-dose or multiple-dose regimens. People who learn they have chlamydia should be treated as soon as possible. They should also be sure that their sex partners are treated, too, before they have sex again. This will ensure that they don't pass the infection back and forth after one of them is treated. Some health care providers will give clients who have chlamydia medication to take home for their partners.

Published: 07.19.05 | Updated: 06.07.07

This column is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have a medical problem, please call toll-free 1-800-230-PLAN for an appointment with the Planned Parenthood health center nearest you.

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