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U.S. Chlamydia Infections Hit All-Time High

ccording to the report.

Sexually transmitted diseases take a significant economic toll -- the CDC estimates that STDs cost the U.S. health-care system an estimated $15.3 billion annually.

Douglas said greater public health campaigns are needed to reverse the trend.

"These diseases can be treated, and we need to have better awareness about how extensive these infections are and what the prevention opportunities are," he said.

Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Yale University School of Medicine Prevention Research Center, said sexually transmitted diseases are a considerable public health burden.

"By serving up crucial details on where and in whom sexually transmitted diseases are most likely, this report helps inform disease-control programs. By highlighting the persistent prevalence of these diseases, it also issues a call to action," he said.

More information

To learn more about sexually transmitted disease, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Protecting Yourself From STDs

To reduce your risk of STDs, Douglas recommends:

  • Delaying sexual activity.
  • Being careful about your sexual partners and using condoms.
  • Chlamydia screening each year for sexually active young women.
  • Getting tested regularly for gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and HIV if you're in a high-risk group.

SOURCES: John M. Douglas Jr., M.D., director, Division of STD Prevention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta; David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Jan. 13, 2009, CDC report, Sexually Trans

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