Counseling for Sexually Transmitted Infections

Clinical Recommendations

The Women’s Preventive Services Initiative recommends directed behavioral counseling by a health care provider or other appropriately trained individual for sexually active adolescent and adult women at an increased risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The Women’s Preventive Services Initiative recommends that health care providers use a woman’s sexual history and risk factors to help identify those at an increased risk of STIs. Risk factors may include age younger than 25, a recent history of an STI, a new sex partner, multiple partners, a partner with concurrent partners, a partner with an STI, and a lack of or inconsistent condom use. For adolescents and women not identified as high risk, counseling to reduce the risk of STIs should be considered, as determined by clinical judgement.

Implementation Considerations

The Women’s Preventive Services Initiative recommends as preventive service for women at increased risk for STIs, directed behavioral counseling that includes, but is not limited to, longer duration or multiple counseling sessions, motivational interviewing techniques, and goal setting.

The Women’s Preventive Services Initiative recommends as a preventive service, STI counseling regardless of whether or not STI screening takes place during the same visit and regardless of the type of sexual activity or the partners’ gender.

*These are the recommendations of the WPSI and not necessarily of any individual participating organization.