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Lifestyle plays big role

November 15, 2011
Fairmont Sentinel

To the Editor:

Thursday's (Nov. 10) Sentinel had a brief article regarding chlamydia, Minnesota's most commonly reported communicable disease. Planned Parenthood, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, is offering no-cost chlamydia tests in November and December.

Over the past decade, Minnesota's chlamydia rate showed an overall increase of 88 percent. What should be emphasized is that this communicable disease is a sexually transmitted disease. Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal or oral sex. (Chlamydia also can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth.) Adolescents and young adults (ages 15-24) accounted for 69 percent of chlamydia cases reported in 2010.

The article states that chlamydia "strikes with equal opportunity." This may be true as far as gender, but is not true when considering an individual's lifestyle. A person generally gets chlamydia from having sex with an infected person. And the greater number of sex partners, the greater the risk of infection.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the surest way to avoid transmission of chlamydia and other sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship (marriage?) with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.

Although the article does not say what Planned Parenthood will do after testing for chlamydia, I would hope they will be providing treatment and education on lifestyle changes to avoid a recurring infection.

And maybe in the future, the Minnesota Department of Health and Planned Parenthood will put more emphasis on eliminating the risk of infection (abstinence/monogamous relationship) rather than reducing the risk or just testing and treating the consequences of a sexually permissive lifestyle.

Steven R. Krause

Options Pregnancy Center

board member



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