New guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Forces recommend a wider variety of behaviorally based sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention methods, including video and online tools, and acknowledge that even relatively short counseling sessions can reduce the risk of STIs, Reuters Health reports.
The task force’s new guidelines indicate that all sexually active adolescents as well as adults with any of the main risk factors for STIs should receive behavioral counseling to reduce their risk of STIs.
In keeping with previous recommendations, including the most recent iteration in 2014, the task force recommends intensive behavioral counseling through sessions that run for at least a half hour. The update to the guidelines indicates that a wider variety of counseling methods are effective than previously acknowledged, including some online and video methods as well as shorter counseling sessions. Other methods of getting the risk mitigation message across include phone calls and text messages.
Adults are considered to be at risk for STIs if they currently have an STI or have been treated for one during the past 12 months, use condoms inconsistently and have multiple sex partners. Additional factors include having sex partners who are members of demographic groups with elevated STI rates, including people who seek testing or treatment at STI clinics, sexual and gender minorities, people with HIV, people who inject drugs, people who have been incarcerated and people who exchange sex for drugs or money.
To read the Reuters Health article, click here.
To read the task force’s recommendation statement in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), click here.
To read the JAMA evidence report, click here.