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MMWR Recomm Rep. 2020 Jan 3;68(5):1-20. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.rr6805a1.

Recommendations for Providing Quality Sexually Transmitted Diseases Clinical Services, 2020.


This report (hereafter referred to as STD QCS) provides CDC recommendations to U.S. health care providers regarding quality clinical services for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) for primary care and STD specialty care settings. These recommendations complement CDC's Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2015 (hereafter referred to as the STD Guidelines), a comprehensive, evidence-based reference for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of STDs. STD QCS differs from the STD Guidelines by specifying operational determinants of quality services in different types of clinical settings, describing on-site treatment and partner services, and indicating when STD-related conditions should be managed through consultation with or referral to a specialist. These recommendations might also help in the development of clinic-level policies (e.g., standing orders, express visits, specimen panels, and reflex testing) that can facilitate implementation of the STD Guidelines. CDC organized the recommendations for STD QCS into eight sections: 1) sexual history and physical examination, 2) prevention, 3) screening, 4) partner services, 5) evaluation of STD-related conditions, 6) laboratory, 7) treatment, and 8) referral to a specialist for complex STD or STD-related conditions.CDC developed the recommendations by synthesizing relevant, evidence-based guidelines and recommendations issued by other experts; reviewing current practice in the United States; soliciting Delphi ratings by subject matter experts on STD care in primary care and STD specialty care settings; discussing the scientific evidence supporting the proposed recommendations at a consultation meeting of experts and institutional stakeholders held November 20, 2015, in Atlanta, Georgia; conducting peer reviews of draft recommendations and supporting evidence; and discussing draft recommendations and supporting evidence during meetings of the CDC/Health Resources and Services Administration Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and STD Prevention and Treatment STD Work Group. These recommendations are intended to help health care providers in primary care or STD specialty care settings offer STD services at their clinical settings and to help the persons seeking care live safer, healthier lives by preventing and treating STDs and related complications.

Conflict of interest statement

CDC, the planners, and the presenters disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services, or commercial supporters with the following exceptions: Kevin Ault, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases funding; Laura Bachmann, research grants from Cepheid and Melinta; Ronald Goldschmidt, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funding; Charlene Flash, National Institutes of Health, HRSA, American Medical Association, and Gilead funding; Michael Mugavero, National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Gilead funding.

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