Chlamydia infections are up in California counties
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Many areas in the U.S. have been experiencing a spike in chlamydia rates over the past few years. This sexually transmitted disease (STD) is particularly common in people between the ages of 15 and 24, who represent half of all new sexual infections each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recently, The Union Democrat, a California news source, reported that chlamydia infections are increasing in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, especially in the young community.
Calaveras County Public Health Officer Dean Kelaita, M.D., told the news source that there have been 46 cases of chlamydia so far this year, compared to 37 at this point in 2011.
"It’s not clear why it’s happening," Kelaita said, quoted by the news source "but if the rates of chlamydia are rising, there’s likely unsafe sexual activity occurring ... that is causing more serious infections such as gonorrhea and HIV. It’s an indicator like a canary-in-a-coal-mine type of marker."
Kelaita urged people who have had unprotected sex to visit STD testing centers in California to ensure that they do not have the chlamydia.
Public health officer Todd Stolp, M.D., told the information provider that chlamydia is the leading cause of infertility in U.S. women. The CDC states that in 2010, there were more than 1.3 million chlamydia infections in the U.S., and those are just the ones that were reported. This infection often does not have visible symptoms, so many people may have the STD and are unaware.
Stolp added that the key to lowering these rates is to convince young people that they are not invincible. Many kids have unprotected sex thinking that no one they know could every contract an STD, which is simply not true. Anyone who does not use condoms has a high risk of getting an STD or HIV, which is why it's important to gear safer sex awareness campaigns toward young people.
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