Annual Screening for STD Not Effective

LONDON, April 9 (UPI) — Annual screening for chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, isn’t effective in detecting pelvic inflammatory disease, British researchers say.

Dr. Pippa Oakeshott of St. George’s, University of London says the study involved 2,529 sexually active female students ages 16-27 at 20 universities and colleges in London.

Chlamydia is the most common STD in the United States and Europe. Women often have no symptoms and many are not diagnosed, but if left untreated it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can result in infertility, chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancy.

The women were randomly divided into two groups. One group was tested for chlamydia immediately and 5.4 percent were found to have chlamydia of which 1.3 percent went on to develop pelvic inflammatory disease, the study said.

The other half was screened one year later and 5.9 percent had chlamydia and 1.9 percent went on to develop pelvic inflammatory disease.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, suggests an annual screening may not be effective because most cases of inflammatory pelvic disease occurred in women who initially tested negative for chlamydia.

Individuals should be tested for chlamydia whenever they have a new sexual partner, the researchers suggest.

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