HealthDay News — In a report published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, recommendations are presented for providing quality sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinical services.

Noting that about 20 million new cases of STDs occur each year in the United States and that in recent years, the rates of STDs have increased, Roxanne Y. Barrow, MD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues developed evidence-based recommendations for providing quality STD clinical services.

The authors grouped recommendations into 8 sections. Sexual history and risk assessment are foundational to providing STD care and should be available as part of an initial comprehensive or annual visit; physical examination provides useful information and may allow identification of signs of STDs of which the patient was unaware. Prevention consists of 8 strategies, including contraceptive provision, vaccination, and preexposure prophylaxis. Screening is important for early detection and prevention of STDs; screening is the only method for diagnosing asymptomatic STDs. Partner services includes various strategies such as guidance regarding notification and care for sex partners and interactive counseling for partner notification. The remaining recommendations were grouped into evaluation of STD-related conditions; laboratory, including testing for identifying STDs; treatment; and referral to a specialist for complex STD or STD-related conditions.

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“These recommendations allow health care providers to build, maintain, or enhance the delivery of STD services in their primary care and STD specialty care settings,” the authors write.

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