Health officials encourage young women in Arizona to get tested for chlamydia
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In March 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a statement saying that an insufficient number of sexually active American women are getting tested for the sexually transmitted disease (STD) chlamydia. It is important to get screened regularly for this STD, because it often presents with no symptoms, so a person may have it and spread it to their uninfected partners without even realizing it.
Recently, KTAR, an Arizona news source, reported that while more women in the state are getting tested for chlamydia, the numbers are not what they should be. The information provider stated that 43 percent of sexually active women in Arizona between the ages of 16 and 25 were tested for chlamydia in 2008. While this is up from 27 percent in 2007, it shows that less than half of women who should be screened are going to STD testing centers in Phoenix or other areas of the state.
Thomas Schryer, Pinal County's public health director, told KTAR that he believes one of the reasons that young people are not getting tested is because even if they have chlamydia, they may not notice it among the changes happening to their body.
The CDC estimates that individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 are responsible for nearly half of all new STD infections each year.
Nikki Mayes, a health communications specialist with the CDC, told the news source that doctors need to talk to their younger patients about sexual health.
"We must also make sure that providers have the skills they need to successfully implement screening," she said in an email to KTAR. "For example, [they need] tools and training to feel more comfortable taking a young patient's sexual history."
If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to infertility. This highlights the importance of getting regular STD screenings to identify this infection.
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