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Clinical Summary

Sexually Transmitted Infections: Behavioral Counseling

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.

Behavioral Counseling Interventions to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections: Clinical Summary of USPSTF Recommendation

Population Sexually active adolescents and adults at increased risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Recommendation Offer or refer to intensive behavioral counseling interventions to prevent STIs.
Grade: B
Risk Assessment All sexually active adolescents are at increased risk for STIs. Other risk groups include adults with current STIs or other infections within the past year, adults who have multiple sex partners, and adults who do not consistently use condoms.
Behavioral Counseling Interventions Behavioral counseling interventions can reduce a person's likelihood of acquiring an STI. Interventions ranging in intensity from 30 min to ≥2 h of contact time are beneficial; evidence of benefit increases with intervention intensity. Interventions can be delivered by primary care clinicians or through referral to trained behavioral counselors.

Most successful approaches provide basic information about STIs and STI transmission; assess risk for transmission; and provide training in pertinent skills, such as condom use, communication about safe sex, problem solving, and goal setting.

Balance of Benefits and Harms The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that intensive behavioral counseling interventions to prevent STIs have a moderate net benefit in sexually active adolescents and in adults at increased risk.
Other Relevant USPSTF Recommendations The USPSTF has issued numerous recommendations related to screening for STIs, including screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea, hepatitis B, genital herpes, HIV, and syphilis. These recommendations are available at http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making these recommendations, the full recommendation statement, 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.

Current as of September 2014

Current as of: September 2014

Internet Citation: Clinical Summary: Sexually Transmitted Infections: Behavioral Counseling. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. October 2014.
https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/ClinicalSummaryFinal/sexually-transmitted-infections-behavioral-counseling1

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