More than 750 public health leaders are meeting in Atlanta this week for the 2010 National STD Prevention Conference, which will feature 300 new studies on sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including results of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis of HIV and syphilis rates among men who have sex with men.

In addition, the CDC will present a study showing consistently high rates of herpes in the United States, particularly among women and African Americans.

“As the studies presented at this conference show, the disparities in STD rates among women, African Americans and gay and bisexual men remain stark,” Kevin Fenton, MD, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, said in a statement. “Given everything we know about how to prevent, diagnose and treat STDs, it is unacceptable that STDs remain such a widespread public health problem in the United States today.”

Other studies will examine some of the factors that put Americans at risk for STIs, including lack of access to health care, racial discrimination and misinformation.