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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 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. 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. Also available in Spanish.

HIV/AIDS & STDs Treatment (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 as specific STDs. The resources listed below are basic fact sheets in English, unless otherwise noted. Basic fact sheets are written in plain language for consumers and summarize key information about particular STDs. 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.

AtlasPlus (CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention) – This online tool gives users the ability to create customized tables, maps, and charts using more than a decade 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

Sexually Transmitted Infections Treatment Guidelines, 2021 (CDC) – This document includes guidance for people who have, or are at risk for STIs. For your convenience, we have linked to the main sections of the 2021 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 times.

 

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 generally 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.

New England Training Curriculum in Sexually Transmitted Infections (New England AETC, July 2021) – This resource covers recent trends in STI and HIV epidemiology, and how these trends impact care delivery and health outcomes; identifies appropriate diagnostic tests that may be tailored to specific patient groups and clinical settings; and discusses how to apply one’s HIV and STI knowledge in typical patient encounters.

 

Selected Resources from AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs)

Oral Manifestations of Sexually Transmitted Infections in People with HIV (South Central AETC, June 2021) – This webinar reviews the categories of oral STIs, identifies oral manifestations of STIs, and discusses the different manifestations of oral STIs in people with HIV.

Prevention IS Care (CDC, June 2021) – This toolkit, developed as part of CDC’s Act Against AIDS initiative, is designed to help HIV care providers engage patients in care and transmission prevention. It includes materials that can be used to aid patients in understanding the importance of remaining in care, taking ART as prescribed, and practicing safer sexual behaviors to prevent acquisition of STDs and prevent transmission.

Managing Sexual Health in Adolescents (New England AETC, June 2021) – This webinar describes a status-neutral approach for addressing sexual health in adolescents, and includes information about HIV and STI prevention among young persons.

The Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Assault, Trafficking, and STI Risk in Indigenous Women (Midwest AETC and others, March 2021) – This resource discusses how intersecting systems of oppression contribute to high rates of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and trafficking among Indigenous women, and how these, in turn, increase their STI risk.

STIs and PrEP for People Who Inject Drugs (Mountain West AETC and Oregon AETC, February 2021) – This webinar session reviews how to identify, screen, and treat common STIs and HIV, and discusses approaches for discussing and prescribing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with people who inject drugs.

TelePrEP & Tele-STI Care: Optimizing Safer Sex in the Pandemic (New England AETC, December 2020) – This webinar discusses what constitutes safer sex in the COVID-19 era. It provides context on the role of PrEP in sexual harm reduction and discusses models for remote PrEP delivery and clinical monitoring.

Let’s Talk about Sex (Pacific AETC and others, May 2020) – This slide set provides an overview of HIV and testing for STIs in the primary care setting. The slides cover current recommendations for STI screening in both the general population and higher-risk individuals; the epidemiology and treatment of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia; and the role of PrEP and post-exposure prophylaxis in prevention.

 

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.