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STD: What's New?

Hanging tags spelling out Did you know?

Things are changing in the world of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) all the time.

New events, conferences, resources, and even new diagnostic, treatment, and prevention recommendations occur regularly.

Below is an example of what is going on in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

DHS calling on medical providers to increase syphilis screening and testing during pregnancy

In October 2023, The Department of Health Services (DHS) issued a memo to health care providers in the state calling for increased awareness and testing for the sexually transmitted infection (STI) syphilis. Surveillance data from 2022 and preliminary data for 2023 show a continued rise in cases in the state. The most recent data available shows that cases of syphilis increased 19% (1,608 to 1,916) from 2021 to 2022. Among those cases, congenital syphilis increased 81% (16 to 29) during this same time period. By comparison, Wisconsin had an average 0-2 congenital syphilis cases per year in the 2010s.

HIV and STI at-home test kit pilot ended successfully

DHS partnered with Simple HealthKit for a pilot program that provided free at-home test kits for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. In seven weeks, from the end of August to the end of October 2023, we delivered 361 test kits to Wisconsin residents across the state.

DHS distributed 316 Clinical and laboratory guidance for suspected treatment failure among patients treated for gonorrhea

In August 2023, DHS issued a memo on monitoring for suspected gonorrhea treatment failure. (PDF) This guidance is especially for those providing treatment and case management for individuals diagnosed with gonorrhea infection.

New 2021 STD treatment guidelines from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

CDC has recently published new 2021 treatment guidelines that replace the 2015 guidance.

CDC recommends new treatment for gonorrhea

New CDC treatment recommendations for uncomplicated gonorrhea infections were published on Dec. 18, 2020, and now recommend treatment for uncomplicated gonorrhea infection with a single dose of 500mg of ceftriaxone IM. The preferred treatment for coinfection with chlamydia if not ruled out is 100mg of doxycycline two times per day for seven days. A test of cure (TOC) is recommended for all gonococcal infections of the pharynx. Changes in Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS) and on the report form to accommodate documentation for the new recommendations are in process.

Visit the CDC website for more information and rationale for these new recommendations.

New podcast episode – Exploring the new CDC guidelines for gonorrhea treatment

In a new episode of The Family Planning Files podcast, the National Clinical Training Center for Family Planning (NCTCFP) sat down with Dr. Hilary Reno to discuss the treatment guidelines for gonorrhea released by the CDC in December 2020.

Laboratory director's letter

The Chief Medical Office for the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, Dr. Westergaard and the STI unit have created a letter to help laboratory directors with syphilis testing and reporting. View a copy of the letter Reporting of Treponemal and Non-Treponemal Syphilis Testing and the Correct Syphilis Testing Algorithm for CDC Defined Reverse Sequence Syphilis Testing.

Last revised January 31, 2024