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Archived Clinical Summary

Sexually Transmitted Infections: Behavioral Counseling

Originally published on: January 21, 2014

This recommendation statement is currently archived and inactive. It should be used for historical purposes only. Click here for copyright and source information .

Disclaimer:Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Archived: Clinical Summary of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation

This document is a summary of the 2008 recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on behavioral counseling to prevent sexually transmitted infections. This summary is intended for use by primary care clinicians.


Population All sexually active adolescents Adults at increased risk for STIs* Non-sexually-active adolescents and adults not at increased risk for STIs
Recommendation Offer high-intensity counseling
Grade: B
Offer high-intensity counseling
Grade: B
No recommendation
Grade: I (Insufficient Evidence)
Risk Assessment
All sexually active adolescents are at increased risk for STIs and should be offered counseling.

Adults should be considered at increased risk and offered counseling if they have:

  • Current STIs or have had an STI within the past year.
  • Multiple sexual partners.
In communities or populations with high rates of STIs, all sexually active patients in non-monogamous relationships may be considered at increased risk.
Interventions
Characteristics of successful high-intensity counseling interventions:
  • Multiple sessions of counseling.
  • Frequently delivered in group settings.
Suggestions for Practice
High-intensity counseling may be delivered in primary care settings, or in other sectors of the health system and community settings after referral.

Delivery of this service may be greatly improved by strong linkages between the primary care setting and community.
Evidence is limited regarding counseling for adolescents who are not sexually active. Intensive counseling for all adolescents in order to reach those who are at risk but have not been appropriately identified is not supported by current evidence. Evidence is lacking regarding the effectiveness of counseling for adults not at increased risk for STIs.
Other Relevant Recommendations from the USPSTF

USPSTF recommendations on screening for chlamydial infection, gonorrhea, genital herpes, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and syphilis, and on counseling for HIV, can be found at http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

*STI = Sexually Transmitted Infection

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making these recommendations, the full recommendation statement (including a summary of research gaps), and supporting documents, please go to http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

Disclaimer: Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Copyright and Source Information

This document is in the public domain within the United States.

Requests for linking or to incorporate content in electronic resources should be sent via the USPSTF contact form.

Current as of: October 2008

Internet Citation: Clinical Summary: Sexually Transmitted Infections: Behavioral Counseling. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. January 2014.
https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/ClinicalSummaryFinal/sexually-transmitted-infections-behavioral-counseling

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