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CDC Releases Updated STD Treatment Guidelines

 
 

For Immediate Release                                                 
June 4, 2015                                                            

Contact: 
Stephanie Arnold Pang
National Coalition of STD Directors 
(612) 220-2446
sarnold@ncsddc.org

PRESS RELEASE  

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Release Updated STD Treatment Guidelines

2015 STD Treatment Guidelines Respond to Trends and Emerging Issues in STD Prevention

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines, updating their recommendations for treating persons who have or are at risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  This update was written after a consultation in 2013 with a group of professionals knowledgeable in the field of STDs as well as the release of a document for peer review in 2014.  NCSD staff and NCSD members were proud to participate in this consultation.

"The testing, treatment, and prevention of STDs is constantly evolving and CDC's ongoing investment in this intensive effort through development of these guidelines is commendable," stated William Smith, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD).  "This document is a comprehensive and authoritative source for promoting sexual health through STD prevention and treatment and NCSD staff and members were pleased to play a role in its development."  

The last full update to the CDC STD Treatment Guidelines was in 2010.   There have been a number of changes to the guidelines in this updated version.  Some of these changes include:

  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for the prevention of HIV is now included in the Clinical Prevention Guidance section, which lists methods for the prevention and control of STDs.  The full CDC PrEP Guidelines also include recommendations for frequent testing for other STDs for those on PrEP. 
  • A change in the front line treatment recommendations for gonorrhea is included in this update.  CDC now recommends treating gonorrhea with 250 mg of ceftriaxone delivered intramuscularly plus 1 g of oral azithromycin.  Treatment with ceftriaxone plus doxycycline has now been moved to an alternative treatment recommendation for use in case of azithromycin allergy.  This change was made due to the convenience of a single-does therapy as well as increased gonococcal resistance to the class of drug that includes doxycycline.
  • Oral cefixime is still recommended as an alternative treatment for gonorrhea if ceftriaxone is not available, and for use in Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) for partners who are unlikely to seek treatment.  EPT is the practice of providing medication or a prescription to a patient who tests positive for an STD for their partner (s) without an intervening medical examination of their partner(s).
  • The CDC also now explicitly recommends the delivery of EPT by providing patients with appropriately packaged medication as the preferred approach to EPT, as compared to providing prescriptions, as the data on the efficacy of EPT using prescriptions is very limited, and many persons do not fill prescriptions given to them by their partner.
  • Language around EPT for gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) states that the "data on the use of [EPT] for gonorrhea or chlamydial infection among MSM are limited" and due to the increased risk of co-infection with HIV, EPT "should not be used routinely in MSM."  NCSD has long advocated for a change in CDC language around the provision of this STD treatment option for MSM and would encourage entities that provide EPT to MSM to collect data to provide to the CDC for inclusion of this population in future STD Treatment Guidelines.
  • Annual extragenital screening (screening in the throat and the rectum) for MSM who report receptive anal or oral sex is now recommended, regardless of reported use of condoms or symptoms, as a result of how infectious STD infections are at these non-genital sites and how often they are without symptoms. 
  • The new guidelines also highlight that sexual transmission of Hepatitis C (HCV) can occur, especially among MSM with HIV infection.  As a result, serologic screening for HCV is recommended at initial evaluation of persons with newly diagnosed HIV infection. 
  • In addition, because of accumulating evidence of acute HCV infection acquisition among persons with HIV infection (especially MSM with HIV infection) and because regular screening for HCV infection is cost effective, the CDC states that MSM with HIV infection should be regularly screened for HCV.

In addition to all of these technical changes, the 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines include a new section for the STD recommendations for transgender men and women, a special population whose unique health care needs have long been overlooked or included in sections with MSM.  NCSD applauds the CDC for including this special population in these guidelines for quick access to information STD testing recommendations specifically for this population.

"There are many new updates in these new treatment guidelines," continued Smith.  "NCSD encourages our member health departments, all health care providers, and organizations that work with health care providers, to educate themselves on the new guidelines to ensure they are providing the best sexual health care to all their patients."

The 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines are available on the CDC website.  Updated Pocket Guides, Wall Charts, and the STD Tx Guide app will also be available this summer to order or download.

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 The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) is a partnership of public health professionals dedicated to promoting sexual health through the prevention of STDs. NCSD provides dynamic leadership that strengthens STD Programs by advocating for effective policies, strategies, and sufficient resources by increasing awareness of the medical and social impacts of STDs.  For more information, visit www.NCSDDC.org.

PDF available here.
Summary of 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines