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Women need more intensive chlamydia screening, CDC says

Annual chlamydia screening alone is not enough to stem the tide of new infections among the nation’s young, sexually active women each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency recommends that physicians also retest patients 25 and younger three months after treatment for chlamydia to ensure that the person has not been reinfected. On average, between 10% and 25% of women treated for the disease will be reinfected within three months, said Gail Bolan, MD, director of the CDC’s Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention. Young, sexually active women have an increased risk of developing chlamydia, in part, because their cervix is not fully matured and is more susceptible to infections, the CDC said. But physicians often overlook chlamydia screening among these women, according to data released March 13 at the CDC’s National STD Prevention Conference in Minneapolis. The conference focused on advances and challenges in efforts to hal ...

IOM report identifies ways to measure improvements in HIV care

People continue to be diagnosed with advanced stages of HIV/AIDS despite tools that enable health professionals to detect the condition early and federal recommendations that encourage doctors to do so, infectious diseases experts say. Primary care physicians can help remedy the problem by testing all patients between age 13 and 64 for the virus and making sure those diagnosed with the condition start treatment, said Carlos del Rio, MD, a professor of medicine and global health at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta. Dr. Del Rio also is co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research. “To get them into care, you have to diagnose them,” he said. In July 2010, the Obama administration issued the first-ever national strategy on combating and preventing HIV and AIDS. The plan’s goals are clear, but the question has been how to determine whether the strategy is making strides in the right direction, Dr. Del Rio said. To address that uncertainty, t ...

GOP Medicare reform bill would let seniors tap into government employee plan

Medicare seniors would be offered the choice of signing up for the same health care plans that cover lawmakers, their staffs and other federal employees under legislation introduced by Republican senators. Starting in 2014, Medicare-eligible beneficiaries would have the option to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan if lawmakers were to approve the Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act of 2012. The legislation was introduced by Sens. Rand Paul, MD (R, Ky.), Lindsey Graham (R, S.C.), Mike Lee (R, Utah) and Jim DeMint (R, S.C.) on March 15. The legislation would give seniors access to hundreds of health plans while phasing out the traditional Medicare program. It also would gradually increase the age for Medicare eligibility to 70 over the course of 20 years. The bill's sponsors said that if the federal workers' plan is good enough for lawmakers, it should be good enough for the seniors they represent. "To get our nation's fiscal house in order, we must ad ...