All sexually active adolescent females 19 years of age and younger should be screened for chlamydia, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2002 Guidelines for the Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (


Pediatricians should screen them “even if they don’t have symptoms,” says Stuart Berman, M.D., Sc.M., chief of the Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch in the CDC Division of STD Prevention.

Concentrated among female adolescents who are physiologically more susceptible to infection than older women, chlamydia is the most commonly reported infectious disease in the United States, with 702,093 cases reported in 2000, and is asymptomatic in the majority of cases, according to the CDC.

Health care providers also are advised to re-screen all females who are diagnosed with chlamydia three to four months after they complete initial treatment.

“This new guidance on re-screening was issued...

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