There are a number of reasons why one partner may test positive for chlamydia while the other does not, one of which the test result may not be accurate.

It’s also possible that the chlamydia didn’t spread from the person to their partner.

The relationship’s status cannot be inferred from the simple knowledge that one partner is positive and the other is negative.

Different test results may not always indicate infidelity on the side of one partner.

Additionally, the spouse who tested negative does not automatically possess immunity.

Chlamydia or another STD could eventually develop in them (STI).



✅ If one partner tests positive for chlamydia or another STI and the other does not, it might be disconcerting.

✅ False positives and false negatives are only a couple of the many reasons why this could occur.

✅ Even the most contagious STIs do not always pass from one partner to the next during sexual activity. 

✅ The results of an STI test should be discussed with a healthcare provider in order to create an effective treatment strategy.


Every time a person has sex with an infected person, they won’t get chlamydia. A model for calculating the likelihood that a person may contract chlamydia from a partner who has the infection was created in a 2020 study. This model produced the following per-partnership transmission rates using two separate sets of data:

  • 32.1% of men and 34.9% of women
  • Female: 21.4%, male: 4.6%

The transmission rates between individuals of the same sex were not examined in the study.


How chlamydia is transmitted

Sexual contact with bodily fluids containing the germs is how chlamydia is transmitted. Chlamydia can spread through a variety of sexual acts, such as vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex, and anal-oral contact.

Treatment during pregnancy is especially crucial because the virus can also be transferred from a pregnant woman to a baby during pregnancy or delivery.


Non-symptoms cases

Chlamydia sufferers frequently show no symptoms. Being asymptomatic does not rule out having chlamydia, though.

Anyone who has recently been exposed to chlamydia should get tested. Until a doctor informs them differently, they should behave as if they had an infection.

A person may occasionally receive a false-negative test result. If they test too soon after exposure, this might occur. For instance, the bacteria might not have had time to multiply to detectable levels if a person tests the day after having intercourse with a partner who has chlamydia.


Erroneous test results

A chlamydia test may not be positive for 5–14 days or more after exposure. False negatives are fairly prevalent, even when one waits long enough.

A false-negative rate of 0-28% is predicted by a 2014 systematic analysis to update the United States Preventive Services Task Force guidelines for chlamydia screening.

The authors do, however, issue a warning that the higher false-negative rates may not accurately reflect the true false-negative rate because of the limitations of the study’s methodology.

Regardless of study quality, the false-positive rate ranged from 0% to 2.9% across all investigations.

As a result, it is more likely that the negative partner will have an erroneous test result if one partner tests positive and the other tests negatively. Even when just one partner tests positive, it often makes sense to treat both.


Depending on your definition of “sex”

There is a widespread misperception that only sex between the penis and the vagina may transfer STIs.

However, sexual activity that involves skin-to-skin contact or the exchange of bodily fluids with someone who has an STI can really result in the transmission of an STI.

Included in this is any game that involves:

  • the mouth, which includes oral sex and activities like kissing, nipple stimulation, cunnilingus, and analingus;
  • Internal or exterior aneurism

Along with any type of play involving body fluids:

  • saliva
  • pre-cum • vaginal lubrication

Breast milk, anal secretions, and semen

It depends on whether you’ve refrained because an STI test can only detect STIs that have passed their latency period right now. This indicates that they have been there long enough for the body to produce antibodies.


How to discuss it

It can be difficult and embarrassing to discuss STIs. They can worry about adultery if one individual tests positive and their partner does not. It is crucial to understand that merely because two tests yielded different findings, one cannot automatically assume the other.

To understand each partner’s risk for chlamydia, it can be good to talk with a healthcare provider about the disease.

If both partners are and have been monogamous, mutual reassurance and support, a treatment plan, whether and when to retest, whether to abstain from sex and for how long, and more are some subjects to discuss with one another.


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