Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chlamydia, The "Silent STD"

Wall Street Journal: Chlamydia, the Silent STD That Can Cause Infertility, by Melinda Beck:

One of the biggest frustrations in public-health circles today involves a tiny bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis.

Chlamydia infection is the most common sexually transmitted disease, responsible for a record 1.1 million cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2007, and experts there estimate that twice that many cases go undetected. Left untreated, chlamydia can cause infertility or potentially fatal ectopic pregnancies. But many women aren’t even aware that they were exposed to it—possibly years ago—until they try to have a baby and can’t.

Chlamydia can be detected with a simple urine test. It can be treated with a single dose of antibiotics, and the CDC has been urging all sexually active women under 26 years old to be tested for it annually, as well as older women who have had a change of sexual partner. Yet fewer than 40 % of women in those categories are being screened. “You’d think this would be a no-brainer,” says John Douglas, director of the CDC’s division of STD prevention. “That’s why we’re trying to get the message out.”


Medical News, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexually Transmitted Disease | Permalink

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