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Sexually Transmitted Diseases  >  Treatment Guidelines  >  Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines 2006
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines 2006


These guidelines for the treatment of persons who have sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were developed by CDC after consultation with a group of professionals knowledgeable in the field of STDs who met in Atlanta, Georgia, during April 19–21, 2005. The information in this report updates the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2002 (MMWR 2002;51[No. RR-6]). Included in these updated guidelines are an expanded diagnostic evaluation for cervicitis and trichomoniasis; new antimicrobial recommendations for trichomoniasis; additional data on the clinical efficacy of azithromycin for chlamydial infections in pregnancy; discussion of the role of Mycoplasma genitalium and trichomoniasis in urethritis/cervicitis and treatment-related implications; emergence of lymphogranuloma venereum protocolitis among men who have sex with men (MSM); expanded discussion of the criteria for spinal fluid examination to evaluate for neurosyphilis; the emergence of azithromycinresistant Treponema pallidum; increasing prevalence of quinolone-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae in MSM; revised discussion concerning the sexual transmission of hepatitis C; postexposure prophylaxis after sexual assault; and an expanded discussion of STD prevention approaches.


Physicians and other health-care providers play a critical role in preventing and treating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). These guidelines for the treatment of STDs are intended to assist with that effort. Although these guidelines emphasize treatment, prevention strategies and diagnostic recommendations also are discussed.


This report was produced through a multistage process. Beginning in 2004, CDC personnel and professionals knowledgeable in the field of STDs systematically reviewed evidence, including published abstracts and peer-reviewed journal articles concerning each of the major STDs, focusing on information that had become available since publication of the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2002 (1). Background papers were written and tables of evidence were constructed summarizing the type of study (e.g., randomized controlled trial or case series), study population and setting, treatments or other interventions, outcome measures assessed, reported findings, and weaknesses and biases in study design and analysis. A draft document was developed on the basis of the reviews.

In April 2005, CDC staff members and invited consultants assembled in Atlanta, Georgia, for a 3-day meeting to present the key questions regarding STD treatment that emerged from the evidence-based reviews and the information available to answer those questions. When relevant, the questions focused on four principal outcomes of STD therapy for each individual disease: 1) microbiologic cure, 2) alleviation of signs and symptoms, 3) prevention of sequelae, and 4) prevention of transmission. Cost-effectiveness and other advantages (e.g., single-dose formulations and directly observed therapy of specific regimens) also were discussed. The consultants then assessed whether the questions identified were relevant, ranked them in order of priority, and attempted to arrive at answers using the available evidence. In addition, the consultants evaluated the quality of evidence supporting the answers on the basis of the number, type, and quality of the studies.

In several areas, the process diverged from that previously described. The sections on hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections are based on previously or recently approved recommendations (2–4) of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The recommendations for STD screening during pregnancy were developed after CDC staff reviewed the recommendations from other knowledgeable groups.

Throughout this report, the evidence used as the basis for specific recommendations is discussed briefly. More comprehensive, annotated discussions of such evidence will appear in background papers that will be published in a supplement issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases. When more than one therapeutic regimen is recommended, the sequence is in alphabetical order unless the choices for therapy are prioritized based on efficacy, convenience, or cost. For STDs with more than one recommended treatment regimen, it can be assumed that all regimens have similar efficacy and similar rates of intolerance or toxicity, unless otherwise specified. Persons treating STDs should use recommended regimens primarily; alternative regimens can be considered in instances of substantial drug allergy or other contraindications to the recommended regimens.

These recommendations were developed in consultation with public and private sector professionals knowledgeable in the treatment of persons with STDs (see Consultants list). The recommendations are applicable to various patient-care settings, including family planning clinics, private physicians’ offices, managed care organizations, and other primary-care facilities.

These recommendations are meant to serve as a source of clinical guidance: health-care providers should always consider the individual clinical circumstances of each person in the context of local disease prevalence. These guidelines focus on the treatment and counseling of individual persons and do not address other community services and interventions that are important in STD/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention.