Author Affiliation: Section of Adolescent Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis.
In 2000, a total of 702 093 genital infections due to Chlamydia trachomatis and 358 995 due to Neisseria
gonorrhoeae were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1 These reported cases represent an extraordinary number
of curable infections. One explanation for the persistence of high levels
of disease may lie in a gross underestimation of the burden of disease in
the population. Both C trachomatis and N gonorrhoeae have poorly understood capacities for production of asymptomatic
infections. A pool of untreated persons sustains high levels of disease, even
for individuals not otherwise characterized by patterns of high-risk sexual
Fortenberry JD. Unveiling the Hidden Epidemic of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. JAMA. 2002;287(6):768–769. doi:10.1001/jama.287.6.768
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