New federal recommendations were issued in August endorsing behavioral counseling to help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which are known to increase the risk of acquiring HIV. The recommendation, Sexually Transmitted Infections: Behavioral Counseling was issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Evidence supporting the "B" recommendation is presented on the USPSTF website, with this observation: "evidence was limited on whether the STI reductions associated with these interventions persisted beyond 1 year."
HRSA has two SPNS research and demonstration initiatives with a focus on STIs. To date, a Sexual History Taking Toolkit has been developed by the initiative, Improving Sexually Transmitted Infection Screening and Treatment among People with or at Risk for HIV.
The other initiative is examining data sharing across STI and HIV surveillance systems in order to improve HIV care. That effort is titled SPNS Initiative: Enhancing Linkage of Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and HIV Surveillance Data in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.