Sexual Health news - Chlamydia

NIH gives professor grant to find new methods preventing chlamydia

In the U.S., chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) diagnosed by healthcare professionals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010 alone, more than 1 million cases were reported to the agency. The problem with chlamydia is that some people do not experience symptoms, possibly making them believe they are STD free and then running the risk of passing it on to a sexual partner. In response to this issue, an associate professor at the Indiana University of Public Health is exploring a new approach to reduce chlamydia rates. She recently received more than $400,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop it and put it into action.

Barbara Van Der Pol believes that the key to preventing new cases of chlamydia is through making it easier for men to get tested. This is especially important since chlamydia can pose risks of infertility, infection and pelvic inflammatory disease in women.

"This is something I've been wanting to do for a long time," said Van Der Pol. "It's really, really clear that the men are the missing link."

Her and her colleagues explain that there are barriers associated with males getting screened for STDs at health clinics. To get past this, they're proposing bringing testing services to these individuals. To figure out where in the community would be most convenient and accessible, they are distributing a survey to 250 men inquiring about participants' preferences when it comes to location and how to obtain results. 

Ultimately, Van Der Pol strives to help the country make more progress in reducing the rate of chlamydia, as it has in the past three decades.