Chlamydia is one of the most common communicable diseases in the United States, causing a “silent epidemic” because most of those infected have no symptoms. Untreated chlamydia infection increases the chance of getting HIV and can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility (particularly in women), chronic pain, and ectopic pregnancy. Sexually-active young women aged 15-25 account for almost 80 percent of chlamydia cases, and by age 30, women have a 50 percent chance of being infected at some time in their lives. Antibiotics easily cure the disease, yet screening rates are low—only about 40 percent of young women are screened per year—and its asymptomatic nature results in millions of untreated cases. Routine Chlamydia screening is recommended for all sexually-active adolescents and young women 25 years of age and under.
The Infertility Prevention Project was a nationwide collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of Population Affairs (OPA). The purpose of the Region VIII IPP was to reduce the prevalence of chlamydia and gonorrhea infections in at-risk populations through the collaborative efforts of STD programs, family planning programs, and laboratories throughout Region VIII (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming).
The funds awarded through the IPP supported the identification and treatment of infection among the most vulnerable populations (uninsured and underinsured females age 25 with 3% chlamydia positivity) as part of a larger public health effort to ensure that all at-risk females age 25 have access to screening and treatment services. The goal was to reduce prevalence and decrease the morbidity associated with the complications of chlamydia and gonorrhea infection.
As a regional IPP infrastructure partner, JSI/Colorado works to ensure that regional project goals are realized and expanded. The Region VIII IPP was established in 1992. Our goal is to support health care professionals in preventing STD-related infertility by promoting science and evidenced-based standards in the planning, implementation, and maintenance of targeted chlamydia and gonorrhea screening programs throughout Region VIII.