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P4.129 Effect of Chlamydia Diagnosis on Heterosexual Relationships
  1. N O’Farrell1,
  2. H Weiss2
  1. 1Ealing Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK


Background Physical violence between sexual partners has received increasing attention in the medical literature in recent years. The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of physical violence amongst STI clinic attenders with and without Chlamydia, and to estimate whether relationships were more likely to dissolve after a chlamydia diagnosis compared with patients without an STI.

Methods This was a retrospective cohort study in which patients diagnosed with Chlamydia at an STI clinic in London, and who had a regular partner at time of diagnosis, were contacted 3–12 months after their diagnosis and asked to complete a questionnaire on relationship history either over the phone or in a face-to face interview. A comparison group of gender-matched STI clinic attenders without a STI who had attended the same clinic were also interviewed.

Results Of 298 subjects enrolled, about half of chlamydia cases and non-cases had broken up with their partner since diagnosis (52% vs 47%; p = 0.42), but cases were more likely to have split up within one week of diagnosis (48% vs 24%; p = 0.003), and somewhat more likely to resume the relationship (24% vs 15%; p = 0.24). The prevalence of reported physical violence in the past year was slightly higher in cases than non cases (9% vs 4%; p = 0.09). The majority of cases saw a health advisor, and these were less likely to report experiencing physical violence than those who had not seen a health advisor (7% vs 12%: p = 0.31).

Conclusion Patients with Chlamydia are more likely to suffer relationship breakup soon after diagnosis than STI clinic attenders without an STI. Improved health advice may be needed for Chlamydia cases, including reassurance to the individual about sexual relationships as well as the need for safer sex with new partners.

  • chlamydia
  • relationships
  • Violence

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