Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are major causes of acute illness and infertility worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 499 million new cases of curable STDs occur annually worldwide in adults aged 15-49 years. The largest number of new infections occurs in Southeast Asia, followed by sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. In low-income countries, STDs rank in the top 5 disease categories for which adults seek healthcare.
The prevalence of STDs in refugee populations is not well characterized and likely varies among populations. It is important to consider STDs in refugees in order to minimize or prevent acute and chronic sequelae, as well as prevent transmission to others.
These domestic STD screening guidelines are intended for state public health departments and medical providers in the United States who conduct the initial medical screening for newly arrived refugees. These guidelines are based on current medical knowledge and the advice of experts in refugee health, and are meant to provide healthcare providers with best practices for diagnosing sexually transmitted diseases in refugees.