Chlamydia treatment — 100 percent effective?

Originally Published: May 14, 2010
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Dear Alice,

I was recently treated for Chlamydia by drinking one gram of Zithromax. My doctor says she has too wait three months before re-testing me for chlamydia. I'm not going to have sex until I am re-tested. I was wondering is this antibiotic 100% effective? Or is there a chance I may still have it when I go back for my check up?

Your help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Dear reader,

Because Chlamydia is quite communicable through intercourse, it's a great to idea to wait for a confirmation that you're Chlamydia-free before having sex again.

Zithromax, whose chemical name is azithromycin, is a common and effective antibiotic often prescribed in the treatment of Chlamydia. Erythromycin (chemical name doxycycline) is another commonly prescribed antibiotic. Cure rates for these drugs are reliably high — one study showed a 97 percent cure rate for patients taking azithromycin and a 98 percent cure rate for those taking doxycycline.

In most cases, the infection resolves within two weeks, after which sex is safe. But many health care providers like to re-test after three to four months to be completely sure of no recurrence. Some health care providers will prescribe antibiotics for an infected person's partner, since Chlamydia is so highly transferable through vaginal and anal intercourse. It's also advisable to have your partner tested before intercourse resumes, to make sure the two of you aren't passing an infection back and forth. 

In terms of prevention, condoms offer good protection against Chlamydia and many other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For more information on this STI, you can check out Chlamydia? and What is Chlamydia? in the Go Ask Alice! sexual health archives. You can also make an appointment with a health care provider to discuss any concerns specific to you. Columbia students can make an appointment at Primary Care Medical Services by calling x4-2284 or by logging in to Open Communicator.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Alice