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Challenges in Prevention: Should STD and HIV Prevention Be Integrated?
STD and HIV Prevention Challenges

March 11, 2002

Last week marked the sixth year since the Institute of Medicine, in its landmark report, "The Hidden Epidemic: Confronting Sexually Transmitted Diseases," challenged the sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention community and its multiple partners to take new steps to address STDs in the United States. While many efforts to address these challenges have been undertaken and much progress has been made, much work remains. For example, efforts to eliminate syphilis from the United States have prompted the need for enhanced community involvement in STD prevention.

Likewise, the emergence of increasing rates of STDs among men who have sex with men (MSM) causes concern not only about the impact of STDs on this population, but also the potential impact on HIV transmission. An additional challenge is the development of effective interventions for viral STDs. In the ever-changing societal and political context within which STDs exist, we must constantly explore these trends in order to build healthy communities that are not burdened by STDs.

The National STD Prevention Conference, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control, highlighted new research that may underscore significant challenges in reducing the toll of STDs. Among the most pressing challenges are signs of emerging resistance to a common gonorrhea treatment, and gaps in STD screening, counseling, and care in some healthcare settings. Addressing these and other challenges must be a priority in order to make further progress in preventing and treating STDs. The CDC believes that will provide an opportunity to discuss these challenges through exploration of the latest science, the best practices, and how science and practice interface.

For more information on the STD Prevention Conference, please view: www.cdc.gov/nchstp/dstd/dstdp.html.


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