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Condoms effective for preventing chlamydia

Sexual HealthSep 02, 05

For people who run the risk of catching chlamydia from their sex partners, the consistent use of condoms offers significant protection, results of a study indicate.

“These findings add to a growing body of evidence that condoms can and do prevent some sexually transmitted infections,” Dr. Linda M. Niccolai of Yale University told Reuters Health.

Chlamydia trachomatis is a common cause of painful pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, in women, and can even cause infertility.

The aim of the current study was to provide an estimate of the effectiveness of condoms in preventing chlamydia infection specifically, taking into account people’s known exposure to infection, explain Niccolai and her colleagues in the medical journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Among 152 clients of an STD clinic who were known to have been exposed to chlamydia, only 13 percent of consistent condom users were diagnosed with chlamydial infection compared with 34 percent of inconsistent condom users.

The researchers calculate that consistent condom use is 90 percent effective in preventing chlamydia infection, for people who are at risk.

“Future work,” said Niccolai, “should focus on finding the optimal methods for assuring that people who need protection are able to use condoms consistently and correctly.”

SOURCE: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, August 2005.

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