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Screening and Treating Girls Doesn’t Reduce Prevalence of Chlamydia in Teens

Frequent testing and treatment of infection does not reduce the prevalence of chlamydia in urban teenage girls, according to a long term study by Indiana University School of Medicine researchers published in the January 1, 2010 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Despite the fact they were screened every three months and treated when infected, the proportion of infected girls did not change over the course of the study. On entering the study, 10.9 percent of the young women were infected. After 18 months of participation, 10.6 percent were infected; 10.4 percent were infected at the four-year mark.

Eighty-four percent of repeated infections were reinfections. In spite of being so highly motivated that they kept diaries of their sexual encounters and interacted at least quarterly with the study staff, some of the young women had unprotected sex with either an untreated partner or a new partner and subsequent infection occurred. The researchers determined that 13 percent of repeated infections were due to failure of antibiotics to cure an earlier infection; considering all infections, antibiotic treatment was 92.1 percent effective.
 
 

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