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Taking on Tennessee's Most Common Infectious Disease

PHOTO: The number of chlamydia cases in the state has nearly doubled in the past decade, with the figure from 2010 surpassing 28,000. CREDIT: jnissa
PHOTO: The number of chlamydia cases in the state has nearly doubled in the past decade, with the figure from 2010 surpassing 28,000. CREDIT: jnissa
February 12, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Work continues in Tennessee to combat the state's most common infectious disease. The number of chlamydia cases reported in the state in 2010 was more than 28,000, about double the figure from a decade ago.

Jeanece Seals, director of HIV/STD programs with the Tennessee Department of Health, said they want to see more people getting tested, since often this STD is asymptomatic.

"In fact, about half of the people who may have it have no symptoms," she said. "So you can be infected with chlamydia and not have any symptoms present, so you don't know that you have it."

Those ages 15 to 25 are most affected by chlamydia, and it's diagnosed more often in women than men.

Seals said having chlamydia puts a person at a much higher risk of contracting other STDs.

"Someone who has chlamydia, who encounters the HIV virus, would be much more likely to contract that virus. In other words, chlamydia has a synergistic affect."

Chlamydia screenings are offered free of charge in all county health offices in Tennessee.

The screening for chlamydia is non-invasive and the disease is easily treated once detected, but if it is not treated the long-term health complications can be significant, including infertility.

More information is at health.state.tn.us.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - TN