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Chlamydia infection prevalent among female army recruits

Nearly 10 percent of female Army recruits tested positive for the bacteria that causes the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis), according to researchers from Johns Hopkins, the Department of Defense and the Army. The researchers also found that the number of recruits testing positive for chlamydia increased over the four-year duration of the study, from 1996 to 1999.

"These rates are of great concern, and the Army should implement routine screening of its female recruits at entry into the military to protect their health," says Charlotte Gaydos, Dr.P.H., associate professor of medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and lead author of the study appearing in the July issue of journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

"While chlamydia infection usually shows no symptoms in women, it is a major underlying cause of pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility," says Gaydos.

"These sustained high rates of chlamydia infection in female Army recruits provide clear justification for a chlamydia control program for young women entering the Army, consisting of initial screening and treatment followed by periodic rescreening," says Gaydos.

"Programs for screening and treating chlamydia infection have proven to be cost effective, especially when compared to the health problems associated with untreated infections, and a highly sensitive test is now available that requires only a urine sample," says Gaydos.

The researchers found several risk factors associated with infection, including black race, youth (under 25 years of age), Southern hometowns, more than one sex partner, and a history of other sexually transmitted diseases.

Gaydos and colleagues conducted urine-based testing for chlamydia on 23,010 non-healthcare-seeking female Army recruits between January 1996 and June 1999. Questionnaires were u
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Contact: tstockt1@jhmi.edu
tstockt1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
12-Aug-2003


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4. Scientists Sequence Chlamydia Trachomatis Genome
5. Screening In Women Army Recruits Shows High Chlamydia Infection Rates
6. Hopkins Researchers Urge Regular Chlamydia Testing For All Sexually Active Teenage Women
7. Age-Based Screening Is Cost-Effective Method To Control Chlamydial Infection
8. Women Younger Than 30 Need To Be Screened For Chlamydia
9. Chlamydia Testing Of Urine Samples Can Be Successful
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11. USC study links historical increases in life span to lower childhood exposure to infection

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