Study finds chlamydia screening guidelines may be missing the mark
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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. Recently, Emax Health reported on a study from the Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, New Jersey, which suggests that the government may be overlooking some key demographics in its chlamydia screening recommendations.
Health officials are looking for ways to encourage women between the ages of 15 and 24 to get tested for STDs and persuade their sexual partners to get treated as well. The reason this is so important is because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that women are frequently re-infected with chlamydia if their sex partners are not treated. This is why the government recommends that women under the age of 25 get screened for this disease annually.
However, according to the researchers, there are many states across the U.S. where chlamydia rates are higher among older women than the national average, suggesting that screening guidelines should be based on state statistics rather than national ones.
For example, eight states, including Arkansas, Delaware, New Hampshire and New Mexico, have chlamydia rates of more than 2 percent in women over the age of 25, which is above the national average. The news source stated that, if left untreated, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility or increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
"This study may lead to a modification of recommended guidelines. However, regardless of what the CDC recommends, it would be prudent for any woman to request a test for chlamydia at her annual exam," stated the information provider.
These findings are an important reminder that any sexually active individual, regardless of his or her age, is at risk of contracting an STD if they do not practice safer sex.
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