Minnesota county works to reduce chlamydia rates
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Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is why health professionals recommend that people regularly visit STD testing centers to get themselves screened for the infection. Recently, The West Center Tribune, a Minnesota news source, published an article on efforts in Kandiyohi County to reduce the rate of chlamydia in the area, particularly among young people.
County officials held a series of public meetings where they discussed different strategies to tackle this public health issue. According to the news source, incidence of chlamydia has soared in Kandiyohi County, leaving many people concerned and struggling to determine the best ways to combat this problem.
Chlamydia is now the leading infectious disease reported in Minnesota, and rates in the county are the highest in the state.
"We are concerned about teens getting pregnant and we are concerned about sexually transmitted diseases," Deb Schmitzerle, coordinator with Kandiyohi County Public Health of the Coalition for Healthy Adolescent Sexuality, told the news source. "But we’re really concerned about all teens and healthy sexuality. Is there something we can do as a community to support young people to be healthy?"
At the public meetings, most people agreed that more needs to be done to encourage individuals to visit STD testing centers in Minnesota to receive a chlamydia screening. In particular, young women should be tested for this sexually transmitted infection often. The CDC recommends yearly chlamydia testing of all sexually active women age 25 or younger. Furthermore, almost three-fourths of chlamydia infections detected in Minnesota were found in individuals between the ages of 15 and 24.
Kandiyohi County officials are planning more meetings to discuss STD-reduction strategies, as well as how to put these efforts in practice and test their effectiveness.
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