New research shows that chlamydia may be much more prevalent than previously reported—especially in young women. The new study, conducted by the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), found that about 1.7 percent of the population has chlamydia, or an estimated 1.8 million men and women aged 14 to 39.
Women, however, need to be even more careful. Among over 500 studies presented at the 2014 STD Prevention Conference on Tuesday, one of them found that the prevalence of chlamydia among young women is far higher than reported rates, in part, due to the fact that the disease often shows no symptoms.
While it's always a good idea for anyone engaging in unsafe sex to get tested, because of the disproportionate prevalence of chlamydia in women—and the severe health risks women face from untreated infection—the CDC encourages all sexually active women 25 and under to get tested annually. Besides chlamydia, find out The Other Sleeper STDs You’re at Risk For.