Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmittedinfection in the world. Sexually transmitted infection. And you might recall from our conversation about gonorrhea,chlamydia often coinfects with gonorrhea, or they tend to occur together. Now there are several species of chlamydia
that exist, but when we talk about the most common STI that's responsible for the disease chlamydia, we're talking about chlamydiatrachomotuis, trachomotuis. And the way it gets this name, trachoma is the term for the eye infection that occurs with chlamydia, as we'll talk about in a minute.
Now with any sexuallytransmitted infection we have to consider the mechanism by which the infection spreads from one person to another. And that process is called transmission, and there are several ways that chlamydia is transmitted from one person to another. Sex is the most common way
and that can include oral sex, vaginal sex and anal sex. Childbirth is another important mechanism for transmission, as we'll talk about in a few minutes. And finally one of the unique ways that we can transmit chlamydia that we can't with many
other sexually transmitted infections is with direct contact. Now I want to throw abig asterisks over here. Because chlamydia can only live outside of a human host for about a few seconds to a minute. So direct contact means something like scratching
an infected organ of the body, say part of the genitalia, and then directly touching another part of the body like the eye. This doesn't count for one person touching another person directly and spreading the infection. That's very rare and unlikely to occur.