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A. Battling the Chlamydia Epidemic

Narrator: This is Science Today. Chlamydia is our most common sexually transmitted disease. According to Dr. Julius Schacter of the University of California, San Francisco, there are about four million new cases a year in the United States.

Schacter: Those four million cases exact a terrible cost to our society.

Narrator: The reason is that in women, chlamydia most often has no symptoms. Left untreated, it causes sterility and other serious reproductive problems that aren't found until it's too late.

Schacter: Given that these infections are so often asymptomatic, it's obvious that the only way we that we can protect the health of our community is by reducing the rate of infection. To do this we need accurate diagnostic tests.

Narrator: Fortunately, a new test has been invented that's about 30 percent more accurate and faster too. And even better, your doctor doesn't have to give you a physical exam to administer it -- unlike the current test. Schacter says the new test will go a long way toward battling the chlamydia epidemic in the U.S. For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.