UNITED STATES—Chlamydia is an STD that is transmitted through sexual contact. It poses a threat to a person’s sexual health, especially if you’re engaging in unprotected sex. Since chlamydia doesn’t display any signs of infection during the early stages, it makes things more complicated to detect the diseases.
All the STIs, Chlamydia included, affect many people in the United States and the healthcare system. It affects the financial situation and economy in the parts where this disease is viral. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommends every legal individual get screened for STDs at least once a year. Screening is very important, especially for sexually active people. The prevalence of STDs has been quite significant since testing for chlamydia has reached record levels over the past few years.
The recent pandemic wave of Covid-19 has caused a ripple effect that has affected so many lives around the world. Since the main focus had shifted towards finding a cure for the coronavirus, many individuals experienced a lapse in sexual awareness. It became evident that many people were unaware or had very little knowledge of the importance of sexual health. Plus, there have been more people staying inside their homes to avoid catching the coronavirus. So more sexual activity during the pandemic has closed the gap between STDs and infection. High cases of chlamydia have been reported in almost all the states during this time period by STD clinics. This has caused so many issues and problems for healthcare centers and also the economy.
There are estimated to be more than 1.76 million cases of chlamydia which were recorded in 2019 alone. For every 100,000 males, there are about 400 positive cases. And there are nearly 700 positive cases in every 100,000 females, which is nearly twice the rate of men.
Chlamydia prevalence is the highest amongst people aged between 20-24. In both males and females per 100,000 people, they are 1,870 and 4,100 positive cases, respectively. People aged between 15-19 comes in at second, where the cases for both genders are 1,000 and 3,332 positive cases per 100,000. The pattern shows that females are at a higher risk of contracting the disease since they’re reported to be more vulnerable. Adolescent cases make up for almost 60% of all positive cases for chlamydia.
Just between the years 2015-19, an increase of 33% for positive cases were reported to the CDC. With better access to testing centers and more accessible screening methods like urine testing, there have been more positive cases as screening percentages have seen an increase.
Since chlamydia is one of the most common STDs in the country, health agencies have made screening for this disease more accessible to the public. A recent study conducted by the HEDIS, also known as Healthcare Data and Information Set, it reported that testing for chlamydia saw a 24% increase over the last decade. The screening was conducted amongst women aged 15-25. However, it states that a large portion of people who might have this disease are probably left untested mainly due to negligence or limited access to test centers.
The US Preventive Services Task Force stated that they discovered solid proof that both males and females were at an even higher risk of getting chlamydia and other infections when sexually active. The risks get higher when the sexual contact is unprotected. The study included 90,000+ candidates who were screened for this disease. All signs pointed out that the young adult age group showed more symptoms than older people. Through a number of clinical trials by the task force, testing for chlamydia lowered the risk factor for one’s long-term health.
Chlamydia is one of the most widespread STDs in America these days. With infection percentages peaking in both genders of all age groups, the issue of what chlamydia brings is alarming to both the government and the healthcare system. Chlamydia is a dangerous disease since it doesn’t show any visible symptoms after the subject is infected. When ignored, the high-risk factor of sexually transmitted diseases could lead to many health-related issues over time.
The widespread issues do not only stop on a health basis. STDs, including chlamydia, also cost the government more money than one can imagine. Since there’s estimated to be a positive STD case in every one out of five people, the funding for healthcare requires hefty amounts at all times. The positive STD cases totaled nearly 68 million infections in the last two years. In 2018, there were 26 new million STD cases that saw record numbers for most states. Chlamydia funding for treatment cost the government nearly $700 million in direct medical costs. The funding is very high since STD treatment and awareness require a lot of resources and attention.
For overall general medical costs, it amounted to $16 billion. These staggering numbers only show how large-scale testing suggests that there’s more than one issue being faced by the country. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and syphilis alone attributed for around $1.1 medical costs during research conducted. These studies were all conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They state that all estimating methods for financial data were meticulously done to bring out the most accurate results. They’re encouraging more testing to be done in a population-centered approach. This could result in more valid data and information that could help in the fight against sexually transmitted diseases.
As chlamydia is one of the most reported STDs in the country, there has been a recent surge in many correlating issues with this disease. It has been stated that younger people are at a higher risk of getting transmitted with chlamydia in both men and women. So, the sexually transmitted disease causes many households and individuals to face difficulties regarding their sexual health. Thorough screening data also revealed that STDs like chlamydia directly affect the economy due to their high medical costs. This makes it more difficult for the government to handle the situation as it exceeds the financial budget every year.