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The results of a new study show that chlamydia rates have fallen over time, but the infection remains common among young women. The presence of antibodies revealed that many young women had had the disease at some point, even while rates for the general population have fallen in recent years.
Rates of chlamydia among young women
Chlamydia, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, has been on a decline between 2007 and 2010, according to the study from the University of Bristol, Public Health England and Imperial College in England. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Lab tests showed that many young women had developed the antibodies associated with chlamydia infections. The results of STD testing showed that approximately 20 percent of young women had the chlamydia antibodies.
"While chlamydia infection remains worryingly [sic] common in young women, the decline in prevalence during this recent period of time is striking. Although we can't say definitively, the findings indicate that increased screening may be reducing rates of chlamydia infection and its consequences in young people," said Paddy Horner,. M.D., Ph. D., one of the authors of the study.
He went on to describe the fact that the infection was likely so common due to a lack of STD tests and the fact that many who are infected with chlamydia may not know it. Though the disease can show no symptoms, it can cause serious complications if left untreated.
Complications from untreated STDs
Though chlamydia, like gonorrhea and syphilis, may not have apparent symptoms, it can cause serious issues over time. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause damage to the reproductive system, potentially leading to infertility in women, noted the Mayo Clinic. It can also lead to serious infections near the infected site in both men and women. Treatment for chlamydia is simple.
The disease can also make it more likely to be infected with other STDs, like the human immunodeficiency virus, the virus that can evolve into acquired immune deficiency syndrome. For those looking for a discreet diagnosis, a lab test online may the answer. With the same accuracy as a doctor's office visit or a clinician's diagnosis,. an anonymous STD test is private and secure.
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