BALTIMORE, Md-A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports one in 12 young adults in Baltimore has an untreated sexually transmitted disease.
Many of the infected with either gonorrhea or chlamydia were unaware of their infections, which can cause chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and fatal ectopic pregnancies.
Scientists at the Research Triangle Institute in Washington examined 728 adults, aged 18-35, and took urine samples from 579 of the participants in 1997 and 1998. Of those who were studied, 5.3% had untreated gonococcal infections. More than 3% had untreated chlamydial infections and 7.9% had both.
Those with the highest rate of infection were black women-some 15% of those tested. The sexually transmitted diseases frequently go undetected because they cause little pain until they are in later destructive stages.
The study was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Md. Using the study as motivation, city officials are reportedly working on promoting screening services and clinics in areas with high infection rates.
Information from The Associated Press