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Keywords

chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes simplex virus, HIV, human papillomavirus, sexually transmitted infections, syphilis, trichomoniasis

 

Authors

  1. Mark, Hayley PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Dhir, Amit MBA, RN
  3. Roth, Callie BSN, RN

Abstract

Overview: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are the most common infectious diseases in the United States. They have enormous human consequences, including severe reproductive complications, neonatal injury, and death; and because STIs are associated with social stigma, they also have substantial psychological impact. The economic consequences are also enormous: it's estimated that STIs cost the nation about $16 billion in annual health care costs. All communities are affected, although significant racial, ethnic, and other disparities persist. Nurses play a critical role in educating patients on STIs, screening for disease, and providing treatment. Nurses can also help minimize the impact of social stigma by providing informed, confidential, and sensitive care, and by promoting sexual health. This article provides an overview of the symptoms, screening methods, and treatment recommendations for the most common STIs in the United States and describes the most recent relevant findings in order to inform nursing practice.