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Low Chlamydia Screening Rates Spur Outreach to Health Professionals
Date:4/16/2009

Untreated infections cause infertility, ectopic pregnancy

WASHINGTON, April 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Screening rates for chlamydia remain low in the United States even though failure to identify this sexually transmitted disease and treat infected women can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain.

In an effort to prevent such serious consequences, Partnership for Prevention and the National Chlamydia Coalition, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has developed a new guide to help health care providers improve the delivery of screening services to women.

"Why Screen for Chlamydia? An Implementation Guide for Healthcare Providers" includes sections on providing confidential care to adolescents, taking a sexual history with adolescent and adult patients, and provides links to resources and tools that will be helpful for providers. The guide can be accessed online at www.prevent.org/NCC.

"Too few doctors realize that undetected and untreated STDs can adversely affect fertility and reproductive health in later years," said Dr. Corinne M. Husten, interim president of Partnership for Prevention.

"We want doctors to improve delivery rates of this high-value preventive service," Husten said. "And we want sexually active young women to understand that a simple urine test now may make an important difference in their reproductive health in the future."

Most young women have no symptoms of a chlamydial infection, and about half of pregnant women with chlamydia pass the infection to their newborns.

An analysis published in the April 17 issue of CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report puts the chlamydia screening rate at 41.6 percent in 2007. That was substantially lower than screening rates for cervical cancer via Pap test, which i
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SOURCE Partnership for Prevention
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