Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major public health concern in the United States. STIs are frequently asymptomatic and can lead to significant morbidity if left untreated. In recent years, the prevalence of STIs has risen significantly. Screening guidelines, recommendations, and programs have been developed with the goal of identifying and treating individuals with STIs in order to limit transmission, reinfections, and complications. Though the prevalence of STIs is increasing, screening rates remain lower than desired.
Family physicians are in an ideal position to help address the low-screening rates for STIs and aid in early detection of these diseases, thereby preventing transmission and future complications for patients who are affected.
The AAFP has a variety of resources to help family physicians with prevention, screening, treatment, and counseling of their patients regarding sexually transmitted infections. These include clinical preventive service recommendations, policies, continuing medical education (CME) courses, journal articles, and a new practice manual.