Task force recommends behavioral counseling for all sexually active teens and for adults who are at increased risk for STIs.
On Tuesday, August 18, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) published a final recommendation statement on behavioral counseling interventions to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Based on its review of evidence, the Task Force found that clinicians can help prevent STIs by providing behavioral counseling to all sexually active adolescents and to adults who are at increased risk for STIs. This is a “B” recommendation. Preventive services that have an “A” or “B” recommendation rating from the Task Force must, by law, be covered by most health plans at no cost to the patient.
STIs are common in the United States and rates of several STIs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, continue to rise. If untreated, STIs can lead to serious complications, including infertility, AIDS, and cancer.
The Task Force’s final recommendation statement and evidence summary have been published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and on the Task Force website. A plain language version is available on JAMA’s Patient Page.
The Task Force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.