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$1-Million Prize Is Offered for Ways to Test for 2 Sex Diseases

February 08, 1994| From a Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — The Rockefeller Foundation Monday announced a $1-million prize--one of the largest in medicine--for development of an easy, low cost diagnostic test for two sexually transmitted diseases which strike more than 75 million people worldwide.

The diseases, chlamydia and gonorrhea, can be cured relatively easily with antibiotics if discovered, but can lead to serious complications, including infant blindness, if left untreated. Current methods of diagnosis are unsuitable because they require equipment unavailable in many areas of the world, and cost about $12 a patient, a prohibitive price in developing nations, the foundation said in announcing the award.

Entries for the prize will be accepted for five years or until a winner is named.

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