While Wyoming’s reported rate of chlamydia infection has increased in recent years, the trend may not indicate overall bad news, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.
A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report said Wyoming had the 26th highest rate of chlamydia infection in the United States for 2010, which is up 18 slots since 2007. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that often has no symptoms but can lead to significant complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and infertility
A Wyoming Department of Health representative attributes most of the increase in the chlamydia rate to improved screening efforts in at-risk populations, increased reporting, greater promotion and availability of low-cost testing vouchers and enhanced partner services.
“Because routine sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening of sexually active young women is becoming more common, we expect the number of reported cases of chlamydia to continue increasing,” says Canyon Hardesty, STD/TB/Viral Hepatitis Program manager with the Wyoming Department of Health. “The good news is routine screening should also lead to a decrease over time in long-term negative health consequences such as PID and infertility and in related healthcare costs.”
Testing vouchers for chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV can be found at www.knowyo.org. Partner services are offered to all infected individuals. This service notifies partners of a possible infection and refers them into public health or family planning clinics for low-cost testing and treatment.
Hardesty said the department will continue supporting education and prevention measures to stop the spread of STDs and associated complications. “One thing we do is provide free medication to clinics to be used ‘expedited partner therapy (EPT).’ With EPT, infected individuals may deliver medication to their partners. EPT is used to decrease re-infection rates as well as treat partners who would not otherwise seek care,” she said.
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