Can Lyme Be Sexually Transmitted?

Q:  Should I have my healthy sexual partner tested for Lyme disease?

A:  I recommend against testing. Even if testing is positive, I would not treat in this situation. I believe the majority of people, children or adult, who have Lyme infection do not develop Lyme disease. Lyme disease is the medical mess that sometimes results from a Lyme infection but does not always occur. Our immune systems do have the ability to get rid of the infection or to keep it under control. There are no animal or human studies that show what percent of the time Lyme disease develops in those with positive testing.

There are no outcome studies to show what happens when antibiotics are given to the healthy adult who does not have symptoms of Lyme disease. It is possible using antibiotics in this situation could trigger a more virulent form of the Lyme germ or treatment resistant infection causing Lyme disease to develop down the road. I take an “if it is not broken do not fix it” approach. One other point it is possible to have false positive testing too. The ability of a test to truly predict a disease is increased if symptoms of the illness are present. For more information about testing and false postive results see A Review of Lyme Infection Tests. Pass or Fail.

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