TUESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Far too few sexually active young women are getting tested for chlamydia, an oversight that could lead them down a perilous path to severe health consequences, including infertility, later in life.
A new survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that only 38 percent of sexually active girls and women were screened for this common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the year prior to being questioned. Chlamydia often infects men and women without causing symptoms.
Not only that, another new study finds that only a small proportion of men and women got the recommended follow-up test once they had tested positive for chlamydia. Re-infection with chlamydia is common if partners remain untreated. In those women who are left untreated, chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancies can result, along with infertility.
Both reports were to be presented Tuesday at the National STD Prevention Conference in Minneapolis, as are two additional studies outlining ways clinics and providers might improve on these numbers.
According to Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the CDC's division of STD prevention, an estimated 2.8 million new cases of chlamydia occur each year in the United States.
The CDC recommends annual testing for sexually active women aged 25 and under, as well as retesting either three months after initial treatment for chlamydia or during their next regular health care visit in the year following treatment, said Bolan, who spoke at a Tuesday news conference.
With only about one third of young women getting tested for chlamydia, two-thirds (9 million) are going without, noted study author Dr. Karen Hoover, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC. She called the results "alarming."
Slightly more encouraging, she said, was the news that some groups at particularly high risk for chlamydia infection a
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