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Get out your condoms: Doctors have recently linked chlamydia, a very common STD, to an increased risk of developing cervical cancer. While human papillomavirus (HPV) has long been recognized as the leading cause of this cancer -- which currently strikes 13,000 women a year -- the role played by chlamydia was less clear. Chlamydia is the most prevalent bacterial STD,
with 4 million to 8 million new cases diagnosed each year. Unlike HPV, it can be treated with antibiotics, but since the infection often produces no symptoms, many women carry the disease without knowing it. This finding gives doctors new reason to screen women for chlamydia as part of their annual gynecological checkups.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|