On December 16, 2010, the
United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the 2010 STD Treatment Guidelines, which update the 2006 Guidelines, to advise
physicians and other health-care providers, who play a critical role in
preventing and treating STDs, on the most effective
treatment regimens, screening procedures, and prevention and vaccination
strategies for STDs. The
guidelines are available online at
www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/2010/ or by contacting CDC-INFO at 800.CDC.INFO (800.232.4636) or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The recommendations are developed in consultation with public and private sector professionals knowledgeable in the treatment of patients with sexually transmitted infections. Dr. Kenneth Mayer, Medical Research Director and Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute, served on the Advisory Committee that provided the CDC with input about the guidelines and wrote the background paper on MSM sexual health. The Guidelines are revised approximately every three to four years, using a scientific, evidence-based process, and are applicable to various patient-care settings, including family planning clinics, private physicians’ offices, managed care organizations, and other primary care facilities. Although the guidelines emphasize treatment, prevention strategies and diagnostic recommendations also are discussed.
Over 19 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occur in the United States each year, with a disproportionate share among gay and bisexual men, especially young people and racial and ethnic minority populations. Data released at the National STD Prevention Conference in March indicate that rates of HIV infection among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are more than 44 times higher than rates among heterosexual men and more than 40 times higher than women. Rates of syphilis, an STD that can facilitate HIV infection and if left untreated, may lead to sight loss and severe damage to the nervous system, are reported to be more than 46 times higher among gay men and other MSM than among heterosexual men and more than 71 times higher than among women. The estimated annual direct medical costs of treating STDs and their sequelae are $16.4 billion. Left untreated, STDs can cause serious health problems ranging from infertility to increased risk of HIV infection.
“Gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men are at increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases,” said Dr. Kenneth Mayer. “Consistent use of condoms during sex can reduce this risk and STD testing should be routine for sexually active MSM. These guidelines are an important tool to help educate medical providers with MSM patients as well as providing guidance more generally to help maintain the sexual health of all patients at risk of contracting STDs.”
Expanded STD screening and treatment are critical to reduce the severe impact of these diseases. The CDC STD Treatment Guidelines plays a critical role in this effort—it is the nation’s most widely referenced and authoritative source on STD treatment and management. Highlights of the 2010 STD Treatment Guidelines include:
These recommendations should be regarded as a source of clinical guidance and not as standards or inflexible rules. These guidelines focus on the treatment and counseling of individual patients and do not address other community services and interventions that are important in STD/HIV prevention.
For nearly forty years, Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhood, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population. The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Fenway’s Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center is dedicated to providing the best quality health care for youth and young adults ages 12 to 29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else. More about all of our programs and services can be found at www.fenwayhealth.org.