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Issue Number 614            August 8, 2006


  1. CDC releases guidelines for the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases


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August 8, 2006

On August 4, 2006, CDC published "Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2006," in MMWR's Recommendations and Reports.

Excerpts from the summary are reprinted below.


These guidelines for the treatment of persons who have sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were developed by CDC after consultation with a group of professionals knowledgeable in the field of STDs who met in Atlanta, Georgia, during April 19–21, 2005. The information in this report updates the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2002 (MMWR 2002;51[No. RR-6]). Included in these updated guidelines are an expanded diagnostic evaluation for cervicitis and trichomoniasis. .  . revised discussion concerning the sexual transmission of hepatitis C; postexposure prophylaxis after sexual assault; and an expanded discussion of STD prevention approaches.


Excerpts from the introduction and methods sections are reprinted below.


Physicians and other healthcare providers play a critical role in preventing and treating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). These guidelines for the treatment of STDs are intended to assist with that effort. Although these guidelines emphasize treatment, prevention strategies and diagnostic recommendations also are discussed. . .

. . . These recommendations were developed in consultation with public and private sector professionals knowledgeable in the treatment of persons with STDs. The recommendations are applicable to various patient-care settings, including family planning clinics, private physicians' offices, managed care organizations, and other primary-care facilities.

These recommendations are meant to serve as a source of clinical guidance: healthcare providers should always consider the individual clinical circumstances of each person in the context of local disease prevalence. These guidelines focus on the treatment and counseling of individual persons and do not address other community services and interventions that are important in STD/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention.


The guidelines include (page numbers refer to the PDF version)

  • Clinical prevention guidance, including STD/HIV prevention counseling, prevention methods, partner management, and reporting and confidentiality (page 2)
  • The latest information on the presentation, appropriate screening, and treatment of STDs in special populations, including pregnant women, adolescents, children, men who have sex with men, and women who have sex with women (page 6)
  • Use of preexposure vaccination against hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis A virus (HAV), and human papillomavirus (HPV) (pages 4 and 69)
  • Details for properly managing HBsAg-positive pregnant women under "Special Populations" early in the document (page 6) and under "Hepatitis B" late in the document (page 71)
  • Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including a revised discussion concerning the sexual transmission of HCV (page 77)
  • Recommendations for evaluation for sexually transmitted infections in adult, adolescent, and child victims of sexual assault/abuse, including guidelines for initial and follow-up evaluations and possible postexposure prophylaxis (including hepatitis B vaccination) (page 80)

Over 18 million cases of STDs occur in the United States each year, with a disproportionate share among young people and racial and ethnic minority populations. The estimated annual direct medical costs of treating STDs and their sequelae are $13 billion. These 2006 guidelines, which update guidelines published in 2002, are an important tool to address this major public health challenge.

To download "Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2006," in ready-to-print (PDF) format, go to:

To access a web-text (HTML) version of the document, go to:

Alternatively, you can obtain a print copy by calling CDC's National Prevention Information Network at (800) 458-5231 (M-F 9am-8pm ET).

To read the Dear Colleague letter announcing the release of the 2006 STD guidelines, go to:

The guidelines, letter, and other resources can all be accessed from CDC's STD treatment guidelines web page at

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IZ Express is supported in part by Grant No. 1NH23IP922654 from CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Its contents are solely the responsibility of and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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Editorial Information

  • Editor-in-Chief
    Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH
  • Managing Editor
    John D. Grabenstein, RPh, PhD
  • Associate Editor
    Sharon G. Humiston, MD, MPH
  • Writer/Publication Coordinator
    Taryn Chapman, MS
    Courtnay Londo, MA
  • Style and Copy Editor
    Marian Deegan, JD
  • Web Edition Managers
    Arkady Shakhnovich
    Jermaine Royes
  • Contributing Writer
    Laurel H. Wood, MPA
  • Technical Reviewer
    Kayla Ohlde

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