Q&A: Gonorrhea Or Chlamydia From A Beer Glass?

QUESTION: I’ve been with my boyfriend for eight years and I’ve never once cheated on him. But when I was at the doctor recently and they gave me an STD test, it came back positive for gonorrhea and Chlamydia. He swears he didn’t cheat. He said maybe he got it from drinking out of his friends’ beer glass. Is that possible?

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are sexually transmissible infections – also called STIs – and they are only passed between people through sexual contact.

That means that Chlamydia and gonnorhea may be transmitted through oral sex, vaginal sex or anal sex, but they are not transmitted by sharing drinks, by kissing or by using a public bathroom.

False Positives

In very rare instances, tests may come back with false positive results meaning that even though a test result comes back positive – indicating that a person has an infection – in reality the person does not have the infection.

If your boyfriend gets tested and does not have either Chlamydia or gonorrhea, you might ask your healthcare provider whether it is possible that your test results were false positives.

It is generally not recommended that a person has sex with an infected partner until their partner has also been treated, and both of you have been found to have cleared the infection. So if he hasn’t already been tested or treated, you two might speak with a healthcare provider about that possibility.

Tests Are Usually Highly Accurate

That said, it is rare to have false positive test results for Chlamydia or gonorrhea; these are commonly used tests and are highly accurate.

I would encourage you to talk with your boyfriend about the possibility that he may have had sex with someone else. If you hadn’t been tested in years, it is even possible that he had sex with someone quite a long time ago.

Even if he says that he has not had sex with other people, you might want to spend some time thinking about your relationship and the possibility that he has indeed had sex with other people.

Transmission Risk Reduced Through Using Condoms

If you choose to stay together or to continue having sex with each other, you might talk about whether you two want to use protection, such as a condom.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are relatively common bacterial STIs and their risk of transmission can be greatly reduced through the use of condoms.