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Only 41.6 percent of sexually active women aged 16-25 were screened for chlamydia in the U.S. in 2007, according to the latest statistics from the CDC. This is despite the fact that chlamydia is the most common bacterial STD, with an estimated 2.8 million new cases every year.
"Because chlamydia is easily diagnosed and treated, many of the severe health consequences of chlamydia are preventable," said John M. Douglas, Jr., M.D., director of CDC's Division of STD Prevention. "Health care providers, educators and public health professionals must do much more to let young, sexually active women know how important it is that they be tested for chlamydia every year."
The report noted that the data only covered women who had health insurance, but "18.4 percent of females aged 16-20 years and 28.2 percent aged 21-25 years were uninsured in 2007" and uninsured women are less likely to get an STD test and have higher rates of infection.
Most young women have no symptoms of a chlamydial infection, and about half of pregnant women with chlamydia pass the infection to their newborns. The CDC recommends annual chlamydia testing for women 25 and younger.
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