Imagine going to the doctor, having a quick test, and finding out whether or not you have the sexually transmitted disease, Chlamydia, in less than 30 minutes. Sound impossible? It could soon be coming to a doctor near you, said researchers in a recent press release.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge, in Cambridge, England developed this new test. It is significantly quicker than the older test, and it’s also much more accurate, too. Researchers believe that the speed and ease of this test will help enable medical workers around the world to diagnose and treat chlamydia much faster than ever before.
The older test for chlamydia used cervical swabs. This new test uses self-collected vaginal swabs. As you can imagine, cervical swabs are much more difficult to obtain than a simple self-collected swab.
Amazingly, the results are available in less than 30 minutes. The older test took as long as several weeks. Since this new test is easy to use, and provides results so rapidly, researchers believe that it is also ideal for use in mobile clinics and other settings that reach hard-to-serve patients.
Women could be tested for chlamydia, and treated, all in the same visit.
Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in America. Approximately 2.8 million Americans are infected with chlamydia every year. Untreated, it can lead to a host of other problems, including ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infertility.
Chlamydia is often referred to as silent STD. It’s estimated that the vast majority of women, 70 percent, who have this sexually transmitted disease do not have any symptoms leading them to believe that they’re infected. Thus, they unknowingly spread it to others, who spread it to even more people.
“The Chlamydia Rapid Test is about more than speed of treatment for positive clients, vital though that is from a public health perspective. All clients, anxious about having Chlamydia, benefit from the relief a rapid result gives. For clinics, there is a strong business case for a method that cuts out the logistics and cost of transporting samples, sending results back and then contacting clients,” said Penny Barber. Barber is the Chief Executive of Brooks in Birmingham. This is a health clinic that that participated in the clinical trials and specializes in treating young people with sexual health issues.
They announced that this new product may be in production in the U.K. as early as next year (2008).