Chlamydia vaccine on the way
According to recent news articles, such as this one, researchers are currently working on a vaccine to prevent chlamydia. It appears this has been in the works for a while, but they have just recently had a major breakthrough, and we are now that much closer to making it a reality.
I think everyone's first reaction (mine included) would be "Hey, that's awesome. One more sexually transmitted infection we won't have to worry about." I gave it some more thought, and there are a few reasons why this isn't as awesome as it had first seemed.
Unlike many other infections we now have vaccines for (human papilloma virus, the flu, etc.), chlamydia is VERY easily preventable. With regular sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, and strict condom use, we could probably come pretty darn close to irradicating it ourselves. All of this time and energy (and money!!) used to come up with this vaccine could be better used for education and public health programs. Many of the users we have who know about STI testing still can't seem to actually get in for it due to lack of resources. Why not use some of this research money to start a health bus for those not able to afford or get to healthcare?
And what happens when chlamydia is no longer an STI we need to worry about (if this ever happens)? There are others, many that are not as easily curable as chlamydia, or curable at all. I worry that society will become even more lax with STI testing and condom use. I worry that sex education will be completely lost if all that's really needed is a vaccine. I worry that this is not the health preserving, cost effective plan that it may appear to be.
I just get SO frustrated at the thought that everything can be cured/prevented with a pill or a vaccine. It's easier than that. It's in educating ourselves and each other, taking responsibility for our behaviours and having the sense to change them in a manner that will actually benefit us.