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Sex in the City Meets Nurse Gail: Antibiotic Resistant Chlamydia
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Sex in the City Meets Nurse Gail: Antibiotic Resistant Chlamydia

Sexual profiling is a bad idea.

Not only am I a nurse in New York City, I am also a single woman.  I recently met a handsome, elegant, and charming man whom any woman would be drawn to.  We went on several dates and something was amiss.  While at dinner, I asked him to explain a month’s worth of mixed signals.  With surprising confidence he said, “I’m actually glad you asked because this is something we should talk about.  I’ve been dealing with chlamydia since I met you.  I’m on my third round of antibiotics and it won’t go away.”  I heard the woman at the table next to us choke on her wine as I was busy putting on my clinical nurse face.

I provided support and encouragement, “It’s a bacterial infection and it WILL eventually go away.”  I also asked if I could share his story with others.  He shrugged and cavalierly replied, “I don’t care.  Like you said, it’s just a bacterial infection and it will go away.”   The conversation continued.

Nurse Gail:  “Can you tell me a little bit about the woman who gave this to you?”

My Date:  I don’t know.  It could be one of three women given the time period.

Nurse Gail:  You mean you had unprotected sex with three different women in one week?

My Date:  Yeah.

Nurse Gail:  After you went to the doctor, did you tell the ladies about your diagnosis?

My Date:  I told two of the three.  One was Asian and I don’t think it was her.   Actually, I had sex a second time with the one that I think I got it from.  I’m pretty sure it was her because I didn’t feel right afterward.

Nurse Gail:  You mean you think she gave it back to you?

My Date:  She denies having it.  She says she goes to the doctor and has all that stuff checked out every three weeks or so.  I believe her.

Nurse Gail:  Who has STI testing every three weeks?  And what makes you believe her?

My Date:  She’s beautiful.  She’s a blonde from Texas, has her own charity, and a really nice apartment.

My Date’s ability to rise above the stigma of sexually transmitted infections is impressive however his sexual risk taking is not.  Regardless, I am sincerely thankful for his honesty.  I would not have guessed, given his pocket square and high IQ, that he could be infected with, and ignorantly spreading, chlamydia.  Furthermore, he had no idea that a socially conscious southern belle could have given it to him.  While we all do it to some degree, please remember that using stereotypes and sexual profiling is a bad idea.

There is also the issue of antibiotic resistant chlamydia.  Yes, it exists.  It is uncommon but it’s out there.  It began popping up in the late-nineties and studied more extensively in the 2000s.  The strain(s) are known to be resistant to doxycycline, azithromycin, and ofloxacin.

However, antibiotic resistant gonorrhea is more commonly diagnosed and has been on the medical community’s radar since the mid-eighties.   The Center for Disease Control reports that in 2009, 23.5% of gonorrhea samples evaluated by the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (29 sites across the United States) were resistant to penicillin, tetracycline, and ciprofloxacin.

Please, as a nurse and a single woman, I am urging you to protect yourself–use a condom with every partner.  There is no way to know if My Date has had unprotected sex with your date or your date’s ex.

[Note:  In the early 2000s, the term Sexually Transmitted Disease or STD was updated to Sexually Transmitted Infection or STI in an attempt to minimize stigma.  The D in “Disease” has been changed to I for “Infection”].

If you came to after reading’s Guys: Read This Before Pulling Out post, then you should probably read Sex: More Info About The Pull Out Method.  Please.


  • Avatar Jason Albertson, LCSW says:

    I read on another site your discussion of pulling out, removal of the penis prior to ejaculation as a means of birthcontrol. I liked the discussion, and I’m glad you provided the numbers on how effective it can be, acknowledged that user skill and experience have to do with effectiveness. Good sex positive, basic health information about a stigmatized subject–I remember in school, as a teen, in ‘health class’ how the method of coitus interruptus (they had to give the Latin for it, didn’t they, clinicalize the issue) was disparaged. We were told: The term for someone who practices coitus interruptus is pregnant.

    I work in the communities of poverty, substance abuse, mental illness and HIV disease in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. I’ve managed contact tracing efforts for people with primary syphilis, some with very high titers. And I have had many clients die of AIDS. I wish your article had at least a statement that noted that there is a risk of STI with this method of birth control that is not present with barrier methods. And, here in San Francisco, a truly sex positive city, where lots of young people are moving in who are very active on social media, educated, affluent, hard workers in the software industry, there is a lot of pressure on women to have unprotected sex. Recently there have been a few herpes clusters, and transmission of gonorrhea (which here, more often than not is found in the MSW community and the sex worker community not the heterosexual community) into this young-affluent-knowledge worker group. Please consider just adding the reminder that this is one method of birthcontrol that won’t protect against STI’s.

    And thanks for having the discussion.

    care and health

    Jason M. Albertson, LCSW

    • Avatar David says:

      Jason Albertson, LCSW, The article was written about a method of pregnancy prevention–not STIs. You said it in the first sentence. “I read on another site your discussion of pulling out, removal of the penis prior to ejaculation as a means of birth control. ” I hope no one thinks the pull out method will protect them from STIs .

    • Gail Ingram NP Gail Ingram NP says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Jason. As a social worker, you are in the thick of it and your professional opinion is respected here. The link to my follow-up post is in a footnote above. All the best to you and your San Fran practice!

  • […] “diseased.” Syphilis ridden James Joyce lost his vision and his mind to an STD. Nurse Gail’s date who had antibiotic-resistant Chlamydia had an STI that got sorted out by the same doctor who diagnosed […]

  • Avatar Teresa says:

    In the second to last paragraph, you name antibiotics that are resistant to this strain of chlamydia. I see you list ‘viagra’ as one of them. Is this correct??

    The Center for Disease Control reports that in 2009, 23.5% of gonorrhea samples evaluated by the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project (29 sites across the United States) were resistant to penicillin, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, viagra.

    • says:

      Teresa, we love you. Thank you for alerting us to the hack. Our web guy has cranked up the security on the site. Viagra DOES NOT treat gonorrhea NOR is gonorrhea resistant to it. Our apologies for any confusion.

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