-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, June 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- About 400,000
Americans may have the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia, but
not know they have it, new research suggests.
The new government report estimates that 1.8 million people in
the United States have chlamydia, but that only 1.4 million
infections have been reported.
Women, particularly young women, seem to have an even greater
risk of harboring this often symptomless infection, according to
the U.S. National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB
Prevention news release.
Researchers analyzed data from the 2007 to 2012 National Health
and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that 1.7 percent of men
and women aged 14 to 39 have chlamydia, which works out to about
1.8 million infections in the United States. However, only about
1.4 million chlamydia infections are reported each year, which
indicates that many chlamydia infections go undiagnosed, the
The chlamydia infection rate is highest among sexually active
girls aged 14 to 19, at 6.4 percent, the investigators found. The
rate among sexually active boys aged 14 to 19 is 2.4 percent.
The study also found significant racial differences. For
example, the rate among sexually active black teen girls is 18.6
percent, compared with 3.2 percent among sexually active white teen
The findings show the importance of screening all sexually
active teen girls for chlamydia in order to ensure that all those
who are infected get diagnosed and treated, the researchers
They added that the racial differences they discovered show the
need for targeted interventions, particularly among black teen
The study was scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the STD
Prevention Conference in Atlanta.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
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