Prevention of STDS involves educating patients about delaying sexual activity, limiting the number of sexual partners, and the use of condoms. For some STDs, immu-nizations are available to reduce or prevent transmission, including human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B.
Patient notification is an important part of prevention. When an STD is diagnosed, the patient’s sexual partner(s) should also be evaluated. In the United States, cases of gon-orrhea, chlamydial infection, and syphilis must be reported to local health departments. Treatment of male sexual part-ners is important in the prevention of reinfection with cer-tain STDs. Inexpedited partner therapy,a patient’s sexualpartner receives drug therapy for an STD without undergoing physical evaluation or testing. Although in most cases thisform of therapy does not result in adverse reactions, it can pose a significant risk. Sexual partners should always be encouraged to seek medical evaluation on their own. In some states, expedited partner therapy is prohibited or restricted; therefore, it is important for the clinical staff to be familiar with all local laws and regulations.