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More American women need Chlamydia tests, report says


Eleanor Davis
WVoN co-editor

Too few American women are getting tested for Chlamydia, a new study has revealed.

Figures released by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that just 38 per cent of sexually active women aged 25 and under took a test in the previous year.

Chlamydia, the most commonly reported infectious disease in the United States, can cause fertility problems if gone untreated. Long-term problems include infertility, ectopic pregnancies and chronic pelvic pain.

It can also be passed on to sexual partners. There were about 1.3 million cases reported in 2010, although the CDC put the figure closer to 2.8 million to account for those that went unreported.

Chlamydia has no symptoms, which perhaps explains the lack of testing. Yet if caught early it can be treated fairly easily with antibiotics.

Those who fail to get tested leave themselves more vulnerable to other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

As a result, the CDC are suggesting that all sexually active women aged 25 and under should be tested annually, and for those who test positive to be re-tested three months later to ensure the treatment has worked.

A study by Cicatelli Associates revealed that out of 60,000 men and women who tested positive for Chlamydia between 2007 and 2009, just 11 per cent of men and 21 per cent of women were retested within 30 to 180 days as recommended.

From that sample, 25 per cent of men and 16 per cent of women tested positive again.

CDC stated, however, that so-called ‘high risk’ groups, including African-American women, those with multiple sexual partners, and those who received public insurance or were uninsured, were now more likely to get tested for Chlamydia.

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