- There were more than 2 million diagnosed cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
- There were 200,000 more cases of these STDs than the previous record set in 2016.
- Diagnoses of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis all increased sharply for the fourth year in a row.
- Syphilis cases nearly doubled.
- Gonorrhea cases increased by 67%.
- Chlamydia remained at record highs.
- Congenital syphilis cases more than doubled.
Talk. Test. Treat.
Talk. Test. Treat. is a campaign that encourages individuals and healthcare providers to take three simple actions – Talk. Test. Treat. – to protect their health, the health of their partners, and that of their patients. The campaign reinforces that all STDs are preventable and treatable, and most are curable.
Individuals – #TalkTestTreat
If you are sexually active, or thinking of becoming sexually active, it is important that you Talk. Test. Treat. to protect your health. These three small actions can have a big impact on your sexual health!
Talk openly and honestly to your partner(s) and your healthcare provider about sexual health and STDs.
Talk with your partner(s) BEFORE having sex. Not sure how? We have tips to help you start the conversationExternal. Make sure your discussion covers several important ways to make sex safer:
- Talk about when you were last tested and suggest getting tested together.
- If you have an STD (like herpes or HIV), tell your partner.
- Agree to only have sex with each other.
- Use latex condoms from start to finish every time you have sex.
Talk with your healthcare provider about your sex life, and ask what STD tests you should be getting and how often.
- Not all medical checkups include STD testing, so don’t assume that you’ve been tested unless you discuss it with your provider.
- Ask your doctor whether certain vaccines, like the hepatitis B vaccine or the HPV vaccine are right for you.
Get tested. It’s the only way to know for sure if you have an STD.
Many STDs don’t cause any symptoms, so you could have one and not know. If you’re having sex, getting tested is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health.
Find out which STD tests CDC recommends for you. Even if you’re pregnant, you can still get an STD. If you’re having sex, you’re still at risk.
If you’re not comfortable talking with your regular healthcare provider about STDs, find a clinic near you that provides confidential testing that’s free or low cost.
If you test positive for an STD, work with your doctor to get the correct treatment.
Some STDs can be cured with the right medicine from your doctor, and all STDs are treatable. Make sure your treatment works by doing these things:
- Take all of the medication your doctor prescribes, even if you start feeling better or your symptoms go away.
- Don’t share your medicine with anyone.
- Avoid having sex again until you and your sex partner(s) have all completed treatment.
Your doctor can talk with you about which medications are right for you.
Healthcare Providers – #TalkTestTreat
While the idea of Talk. Test. Treat. is simple, STD prevention and treatment is not one-size-fits-all.
We encourage you, our nation’s healthcare providers, to revisit the many ways that you can empower your patients to take charge of their sexual health.
STD Prevention Partners: You can tailor the content on this page to your healthcare provider audience and ensure that they are using CDC’s evidence-based resources to counsel, test, and treat their patients.
Providing the best medical care possible means talking to your patients about sexual health.
Taking a sexual history should be a part of routine care.
- Talking about sexual health can be challenging but studies show that patients want to be asked about sex.
- Create an environment that is open to an honest discussion around your patient’s sexual history—success in this area can garner important information that will allow you to provide the best care possible.
Counsel your patients on safe sex, and ensure that they know about today’s many prevention options.
With condoms, hepatitis B and HPV vaccines, and even a daily medication to prevent HIV infection – there have never been more ways for your patients to protect themselves.
Certain STD diagnoses can cause fear and anxiety in your patient.
- Use CDC counseling messages in the 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines to help alleviate these concerns.
Test your patients for STDs as recommended.
STD screening recommendations for different patient populations are available. Below is a brief overview.
- Syphilis, HIV, chlamydia, and hepatitis B screening for all pregnant women, and gonorrhea screening for at-risk pregnant women starting early in pregnancy, with repeat testing as needed, will protect the health of mothers and their infants (NOTE: Detailed screening recommendations for pregnant women are also available here.)
- Annual chlamydia and gonorrhea screening of all sexually-active women younger than 25 years, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STD
- Screening at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea for all sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
- MSM who have multiple or anonymous partners should be screened more frequently for STDs (i.e., every three to six months)
- All adults and adolescents from age 13 to age 64 should be tested at least once for HIV
- Sexually-active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (i.e., perhaps every three to six months).
Keep in mind that screening recommendations are sources of clinical guidance, not prescriptive standards. Always consider a patient’s sexual history and the burden of disease in their community.
Follow CDC’s STD Treatment Guidelines to ensure appropriate treatment and care.
The 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines are the most current recommendations for treating patients who have, or who are at risk for STDs.
- Download the free STD Tx Guide app to your Apple or Android devices to easily access the guidelines any time you need them.
Important treatment topics to be aware of:
Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) may be an option in cases where a patient’s partner is unwilling or unable to access care.
- Learn about EPT on CDC’s website or contact your state or territorial health departmentExternal to obtain jurisdiction-specific information.
Drug-resistant gonorrhea is an immediate public health threat requiring urgent and aggressive action.
Preserve our last treatment option by only treating your patients with the recommended dual therapy (ceftriaxone 250mg intramuscularly in a single dose PLUS azithromycin 1g orally in a single dose).