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How long to wait for accurate Chlamydia testing
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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How long to wait for accurate Chlamydia testing

I am a 45 year old married male. Unfortunately, while my wife was away for a month, I  had unprotected vaginal sexual activity with a younger woman, 22, who I know reasonably well. I had been "assured' that her previous sexual activity had been confined to 4 times with one man, always with protection. 12 days post acitivity, after extensive travel and ten hour time zone changes, i woke up with some increased urination frequency (no burning, no discharge, no "classical" STD symptoms). As I had had an acute prostatitis about a year ago (fever, PSA up from 1.0 to 18.0, frequent urination, full cystoscopy, etc) I immmediately went in for testing. Urine Culture was negative and PSA was normal at 1.0, but some increase in my normal WBC from 5.4 to 8.5, (range to 4.0 to 10.0)and Monocytes from .6 to .9 (range is .1 to .8)

I did talk at length with the younger woman and she adamantly assured me that her ONLY unprotected sexual activity has been with me.

Just to be complete, I also went in for STI testing: Chlamydia and Gororrhea (urine sample) and Syphilis (blood test) at the Provincial STI Clinic in Vancouver BC. Canada. (I mention this as you would likely have familiarity with the testing methods there with your close proximity in Washington State)

I just got the results: all tests are negative - which is what I wanted to hear.

As a backup plan, my family MD has provided me with one gram of Azithromycin and 400 mg of Cefixime - which i am reluctant to take unnecessarily. The reason for this is that my wife is now back but i have avoided having sex with her to date.

My family MD was quite clear - with a negative test for Chlamdia and Gonorrhea, I should be fine as he believes that the 12 days window betweent the time of exposure and time of testing is adequate. However, the STI Clinic in Vancouver has said, while the test for Gonorhea is accurate, the Clamydia (chlamydia) test may be too soon.

What is your experience with this?

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300980_tn?1194933000
Welcome to our Forum.  I agree with your family physician an disagree with the information provided at the STI Clinic.  Perhaps what they meant was that symptoms of chlamydial infection might not appear within 12 days of exposure but I can assure you, if you had acquired chlamydia from the exposure you mention, your test would have been positive by day 12.  Typically tests are positive tin 3-4 days.  

I would also a that your risk for infection from the episode you describe was very low. Your partner sounds to be low risk and even if she was, most exposures to infected partners do not result in infection.  When you put these facts together with a negative test, you can be quite confident that you did not get chlamydia from the exposure you describe.  

My advice is to believe your test results and to put this behind you.  You did not get chlamydia from the episode you described.  EWH
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you Dr. Hook - great service provided by you and Dr Handsfield.

For clarity, and simply  FYI -  I was VERY specific - both to the "intake" nurse (the nurse who interviewed me initially) and with the "results" nurse when I phoned in - I asked are you talking about the time for potential symptoms to appear or the time between exposure and testing. Both said the latter, that is time between exposure and testing. Their advice: for chlamydia testing, the test would be 100 % accurate after 6 weeks, most likelyy after 3 weeks, gonorrhea after one week. I was politely incredulous. For clarity, i said i appreciated such a longer time frame for syphilis or HIV , but I was unaware of such a longer time frame for Chlamydia and repeated my family MD's advice to them . Both nurses would not change their advice and recommened retesting after 6 weeks.
Until your advice, I was about  to take reluctantly the Azithromycin and then wait for at least a few days (as long as I could - preferably a week) before resuming sexual activity with my wife (which she is finding to be bizarre behaviour on my part taht we have not had any sex since Monday).
I am purely speculating on if the testing method at THE MAIN STI provincial health clinic in Vancouver  is unique in some way (test results for the 3 STI's tested took 3 days _ tested Tuesay, results today, Friday) from the labs that are standard for you, but I appreciate that it unreasonable for me to expect  you to know testing methods here. I would have thought it was fairly "standard" and "state of the art" at such a facility - she did mention "culture" testing where, without my knowing what I am referring too, I thought we had DNA type testing here.




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300980_tn?1194933000
Very simply, they are incorrect.  It is my understanding the in Vancover the BC Department of health does use modern, DNA testing methods.   Further, even with older methods such as culture, the information they gave you is incorrect and biologically implausible.  EWH
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