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Editorial
August 18, 2020

Behavioral Counseling for Sexually Transmitted Infection Risk Reduction

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • 2University of California, San Francisco
JAMA. 2020;324(7):640-641. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.12324

For the last decade, the US has experienced an escalating crisis of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Between 2014 and 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported disturbing trends in bacterial STI incidence, including a 63% increase in gonorrhea cases (n = 583 405 cases in 2018), a 71% increase in syphilis cases (n = 115 045 cases in 2018), and a 185% increase in congenital syphilis cases (n = 1306 cases in 2018), the highest number recorded in more than 2 decades.1 Increases in congenital syphilis occurred in parallel with an increase in early syphilis (primary, secondary, or early latent syphilis) among women, with a majority of congenital cases attributable to missed opportunities for prenatal screening and treatment.2 These trends continued to disproportionately affect Black, Hispanic, and sexual minority communities such as men who have sex with men, in part reflecting structural inequities that influence access to timely testing and treatment.

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