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CHLAMYDIA: A "SILENT" DISEASE STALKS YOUNG ADULTS

 ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- You could have the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) in this country, and not know it. You may not have even heard of it. It's called chlamydia and it can lead to sterilization in women.
 In the last several years, chlamydia has easily outstripped herpes, syphilis and gonorrhea to become the fastest growing STD in this country. Right now 2.5 million women and almost 2 million men are infected with chlamydia. There are 4 million new cases each year. Most victims are under the age of 25.
 The disease "silently" stalks many of its victims: it can be without symptoms. As many as 80 percent of women and 20 percent of men show no signs that they have it, according to "Family Practice Recertification," Vol. 12, No. 4, April 1990. Chlamydia also hides behind the mask of a companion disease, gonorrhea. Unfortunately, treatment for gonorrhea has no effect on chlamydia.
 If undetected, chlamydia causes cervicitis and pelvic inflammatory disease in women -- and eventually sterility.
 Many women do not find out they have chlamydia until they decide to have a family -- and find they cannot. The fact women are waiting longer to have children gives chlamydia bacteria more time to ravage the reproductive system.
 Women who are most at risk:
 -- Are age 25 or younger.
 -- Have multiple lifetime sexual partners.
 -- Use nonbarrier contraceptives.
 -- Had a new sexual partner during the last six months.
 -- Had a previous sexually transmitted disease.


THE GOOD NEWS
 Chlamydia is easy to diagnose and treat. Until recently, the disease was difficult to detect, even in the laboratory. Chlamydia testing required time-consuming, expensive studies by well-trained technicians.
 Today, there are accurate, simple tests that can be administered in a doctor's office. The fastest test, Kodak's SureCell test, can take in only nine minutes. There are other tests available for in-office testing.
 The disease is easily treated with common antibiotics: tetracycline or erythromycin. Treatment requires seven to 21 days.
 If you have had multiple sexual partners, there is a chance you could have chlamydia. You could even contract chlamydia from your long- term partner, since he, like you, could be carrying the disease without any telltale symptoms.
 In-office chlamydia testing is painless and inexpensive. It is available from a variety of clinics, gynecologists and general practitioners.
 The testing is fairly new, so ask whether your medical provider offers it yet.
 Kodak and SureCell are trademarks.
 -0- 4/14/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part one in a series of five stories regarding chlamydia. Call Terence McArdle for photos and/or other stories./
 /CONTACT: Terence McArdle of Kodak Clinical Diagnostics, 716-724-6523 or 716-781-9176, fax/


CO: Kodak Clinical Diagnostics ST: New York IN: HEA SU:

KL -- CLFNS1 -- 5486 04/14/93 07:34 EDT
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Date:Apr 14, 1993
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