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Treat Me Right: An Overview of STDs in the United States

April is STD Awareness Month. Over the next month, the CDC will present a series of posts around this year’s theme – Treat Me Right – which focuses on the important relationship between healthcare providers and their patients. You’ll hear it first on Sermo! To start us off, Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the Division of STD Prevention at the CDC, is setting the stage with an overview of STDs in the United States.

Do you know the number one, most frequently reported disease in the US? If you guessed chlamydia, then you are correct. What if I told you that our nation is up against a potential fourth year of STD increases?

More than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported in 2016 – the highest number ever – and we anticipate that number will grow even higher in 2017. Congenital syphilis cases have also spiked above 600, a number we haven’t seen in over 20 years – and one that we are on track to top in 2017.

Now, what if I told you that we can reverse these trends – but only with your help?
You are the protectors of health across this nation – and what you do matters. That is why, this April, for STD Awareness Month, we are focusing our efforts on the relationship between healthcare providers and their patients with the 2018 theme: Treat Me Right.

For providers, ‘Treat Me Right’ is an opportunity to ensure that you have the tools needed to treat your patients right – from detecting an infection and selecting the correct treatment regimen to engaging with your patients in a way that makes them feel heard and respected. We have compiled resources to help foster a trusting patient-provider relationship that extends from the waiting room to the exam room.

For patients, this year’s theme encourages them to learn about STDs and prevention, and provides them with resources to help them talk with their providers about what they can do, and how they can work with you, to stay safe and healthy.

Over the next three weeks, through this blog, we’ll dive into actions you can take, as well as strategies and resources that you can use to protect your patients – all of which you can find on the STD Awareness Month website.

Below are just a few of the resources you will find on the website.
Essential sexual health questions you should discuss with every adult and adolescent patients
Mobile app of the CDC STD Treatment guidelines, which provides you with fast, easy to find treatment information
• Things you can do to make your office more teen friendly
Online courses to learn how to manage STDs (Free CME/CNE available!)

Here at CDC, we are so grateful for the important work that you do, and personally I am so thankful for your time and dedication to this critical health issue. With STDs at a record high, a strong patient-provider relationship has never been more important.

Sermo wants to know: What resources would help you improve the sexual health of your patients? Login or join Sermo to join this conversation!