[Question #3801] Can you pass chlamydia through underwear?

35 months ago
Hello,  I was tested a week or so ago and found out I had contracted chlamydia. I took the dose of azithromycin on Thursday. However, I saw a clean past sexual partner yesterday. We did not have intercourse because of my situation. However he did rub his penis very briefly on the outside of my wet underwear. He also briefly used his hand to rub the outside of my wet underwear and then used his hand to masturbate. Is there any risk of transmission?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
35 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I'll be glad to comment.  Your partner is not at risk.  Several reasons for this, the most important being that chlamydia and other STIs are not transmitted through material,  even underwear that is thin and wet with genital secretions.  In addition, while abstaining from sex for a week after treatment is appropriate, by the time you had contact with your friend, the azithromycin had likely made any chlamydia which might be present non-infectious to others.  Similarly, his masturbation  after rubbing your wet underwear was not a risk factor for infection.

No risk, no reason for concern, no reason related to this encounter for testing.

I hope this information is helpful. Take care.  EWH
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35 months ago
Thank you for the reply! I plan to get retested in a couple weeks to ensure the infection goes away but wanted to make sure I didn’t transmit it to them. I also experienced some diarrhea about 2:30/3 hours after taking the azithromycin, which I know is a normal side effect. That wouldn’t affect the efficacy of the medicine correct?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
35 months ago
No, the azithromycin should have worked.  By 2-3 hours the medicine has been absorbed.  Azithromycin is 98% effective for treatment of chlamydial infection.  You should be in the clear.  EWH
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34 months ago
When is the soonest I can get retested to make sure the infection went away?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
34 months ago
The chlamydia becomes undetectable over time. In most patients tests will be negative at 7-10 days after treatment but in a small number of patients tests may be positive as long as three weeks. 

I hope this helps.  The treatment for chlamydia you received is highly effective.  I would anticipate that you have been cured.

As you know, we provide up to three responses to each client's questions.  This is my 3rd response.  thus this thread will bel closed without further replies in a few hours.  Take care.  EWH
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