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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Please note: On this topic page, we have used the terms “sexually transmitted diseases” and “sexually transmitted infections,” in keeping with the language used in each resource described. We chose the name “sexually transmitted diseases” for this topic page, because that term is most often used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Education Packet

Sexually Transmitted Diseases – This packet is a compilation of several recent fact sheets and other resources. You may wish to customize it to meet the needs or interests of particular groups, such as event participants, providers, patients, clients, or the general public. So please feel free to distribute all or part of this packet as either a printout or PDF.

Fact Sheets on HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) (HIVinfo) – This provides information about what STDs are, the connection between HIV and other STDs, ways people can reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV, HIV treatment as prevention, and the symptoms and treatment of STDs. This resource is also available in Spanish.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (HIV.gov) – This discusses the overlap between HIV and other STIs, the activities that place people at risk for becoming infected with STIs, what can be done to prevent STIs, protecting sexual partners, and the benefits of being tested and treated for STIs.

STDs and HIV (CDC) – This page, in frequently asked questions format, provides information on STDs that are associated with HIV, why having an STD increases a person’s risk of getting infected with HIV, activities that place people at risk for both STDs and HIV, and ways to prevent both STDs and HIV. This resource is also available in Spanish.

HIV/AIDS & STDs Treatment and Care (CDC) – This discusses why getting treated for an STD other than HIV does not prevent the spread of HIV, while noting that STD treatment does have important benefits for oneself and one’s sexual partners. 

 

CDC Fact Sheets on STDs

Please note: CDC has produced many fact sheets and related materials about STDs generally, as well specific STDs. In some cases, both basic and detailed fact sheets are provided. Basic fact sheets are written in plain language for consumers and summarize key information about particular STDs. These basic fact sheets are often available in several languages besides English.  Detailed fact sheets are available in English only, and are intended for physicians and individuals looking for more detailed information, as well as specific testing and treatment recommendations and research citations. 

Strategic Plan and Surveillance Reports

Sexually Transmitted Infections National Strategic Plan for the United States: 2021-2025 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – HHS) – The STI National Strategic Plan (STI Plan) establishes goals, objectives, and strategies for the prevention and control of STIs in the United States. The STI Plan “is intended to serve as a roadmap for federal and nonfederal stakeholders at all levels to reverse the upward trends in STI rates,” according to HHS. “The STI Plan focuses on four STIs with the highest morbidity rates, the most persistent and pervasive STI inequalities according to national data, and the greatest impact on the health of the nation: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HPV.”

Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2019 (CDC) – During 2019, reported STD cases in the U.S. reached record highs for the sixth consecutive year.  Between 2015 and 2019, Chlamydia cases increased 19% to 1.8 million; gonorrhea cases rose 56% to more than 616,000; syphilis cases jumped 74% to nearly 130,000; and congenital syphilis cases rose about 280% to 1,870. The surveillance report includes a national overview with information on new diagnoses and trends, as well as a series of tables that compile case data for specific STDs by year, with breakdowns by sex, race/ethnicity, and age.

Special STD Surveillance Slide Focus Sets

The PowerPoint slide sets below focus on STDs in particular population groups and circumstances. Through a series of graphs and maps, these provide information about disease prevalence, with breakdowns by age, sex, and geographic distribution.

National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention AtlasPlus (CDC) – This online tool gives users the ability to create customized tables, maps, and charts using more than 15 years of CDC surveillance data on STDs, HIV, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis in the United States. AtlasPlus also provides data on indicators of social determinants of health, thereby allowing users to view social and economic data together with surveillance data for each disease.


Guidelines and Recommendations

2015 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines (CDC) – These guidelines are for the treatment of persons who have or are at risk for STDs. Although CDC’s latest full update to its STD guidelines occurred in 2015, the agency recently updated recommendations for the treatment of uncomplicated gonorrhea in adolescents and adults.  CDC has announced that a full update to its STD treatment guidelines is expected sometime during 2021. In the meantime, for your convenience, we have linked to the main sections of the 2015 guidelines below:

Sexually Transmitted Infections: Behavioral Counseling (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force – USPSTF) – In these recommendations, published in 2020, the USPSTF recommends behavioral counseling for all sexually active adolescents, as well as for all adults who are at increased risk for STIs. The recommendations came in response to the rising incidence of bacterial and viral STIs in the U.S. during recent years.

Guidance and Resources During Disruption of STD Clinical Services (CDC) – This guidance focuses on providing effective care and prevention when facility-based services and in-person patient-clinician contact is limited, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. This page contains resources that can help ensure patients receive the best possible care during such time.

Educational Curricula for Providers

National STD Curriculum (University of Washington STD Prevention Training Center) – This educational website includes a series of modules that are listed and linked to below.  The Quick Reference section of each STD module includes information about: the epidemiology of the particular STD in the U.S.; microbiology and pathogenesis; clinical manifestations in women, men, infants, and children; laboratory diagnosis; disease screening; treatment; patient counseling and education; and summary points. Each Quick Reference section also includes a set of “check-on-learning questions” and an extensive list of citations.  Each module also includes a Self-Study section that allows clinicians to test their knowledge and qualify for free Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) credits. The seven modules are:

National HIV Curriculum: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (AIDS Education and Training Center, University of Washington, and other partners) – This is the fourth lesson in the National HIV Curriculum’s Co-Occurring Conditions module. It includes detailed information on the following STDs in the context of HIV infection: gonorrhea, chlamydia, lymphogranuloma venereum, syphilis, chancroid, herpes simplex virus, HPV and anogenital warts, and trichomoniasis, as well as related topics.

 

The contents listed on this page are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, the New England AIDS Education and Training Center.