U.S. Chlamydia Cases at Record High, Over 1 Million Cases


The Center for Disease Control recently released its annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance report for 2007, the most recent year for which data was available. Chief among the report's revelations was that chlamydia infections are at an all-time high in the U.S., with over one-million reported cases, a 7.5 percent increase from the previous year. In addition, infection rates were nearly three times higher for men than women, with economically-disadvantaged women at the highest risk.

A more detailed analysis of the report is below:


In 2007, 1,108,374 cases of sexually transmitted Chlamydia trachomatis infection were reported to CDC. This is the largest number of cases ever reported to CDC for any condition. This case count corresponds to a rate of 370.2 cases per 100,000 population, an increase of 7.5% compared with the rate in 2006.

Rates of reported chlamydial infections among women have been increasing annually since the late 1980s when public programs for screening and treatment of women were first established to avert pelvic inflammatory disease and related complications. The continued increase in chlamydia case reports in 2007 most likely represents a continued increase in screening for this infection, more sensitive tests, and more complete national reporting, but it may also reflect a true increase in morbidity.

In 2007, the overall rate of chlamydial infection in the United States among women (543.6 cases per 100,000 females) was almost three times the rate among men (190.0 cases per 100,000 males), reflecting the large number of women screened for this disease. However, with the increased availability of urine testing, men are increasingly being tested for chlamydial infection. From 2003 through 2007, the chlamydia rate in men increased by 43% (compared with a 17% increase in women over this period). Data from multiple sources on prevalence of chlamydial infection in defined
populations have been useful in monitoring disease burden and guiding chlamydia screening programs.

In 2007, the median state-specific chlamydia test positivity among women 15
to 24 years of age who were screened at selected family planning clinics in all states,
the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands was 6.9% (range: 2.9% to

At selected prenatal clinics in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands the median state-specific chlamydia prevalence was 7.4% (range: 2.0% to 20.7%).

The prevalence of infection is greater among economically-disadvantaged women 16 to 24 years of age who entered the National Job Training Program in 2007 from 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The median state-specific prevalence was 13.2% (range: 3.8% to 23.5%). Among men entering the program in 2007 from 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico the median state-specific chlamydia prevalence was 7.2% (range: 2.0% to 14.5%).

The prevalence is also high among adolescent women entering juvenile detention centers. In 73 centers the median chlamydia positivity by facility was 14.3% (range: 2.5% to 32.1%). Among adolescent men entering 109 juvenile detention centers, the median chlamydia positivity by facility was 5.7% (range: 0.0% to 14.2%).

Although these data on prevalence are not entirely comparable because of differences
in the populations screened, in the performance characteristics of the screening tests, and variations in screening criteria, they provide important information on the continuing high burden of disease in the United States.

To read the full report from the CDC, click here.


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