Skip Navigation LinksSkip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Safer Healthier People
Blue White
Blue White
bottom curve
CDC Home Search Health Topics A-Z spacer spacer
Blue curve MMWR spacer

Persons using assistive technology might not be able to fully access information in this file. For assistance, please send e-mail to: Type 508 Accommodation and the title of the report in the subject line of e-mail.

Notice to Readers: National STD Awareness Month --- April 2005

April is National Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) Awareness Month, a health observance created to increase awareness about STDs, including their transmission, prevention, and treatment. STDs continue to be a major health threat in the United States, especially among adolescents and young adults. CDC estimates that 19 million new STD infections occur annually, nearly half of them among persons aged 15--24 years (1). Untreated STDs can lead to potentially severe and costly health consequences. Annual direct medical costs of STDs among persons aged 15--24 years are estimated at $6.5 billion (2).

STDs are preventable, and many are easily treated and cured. However, the majority of adolescents and young adults are not adequately screened for STDs. This is especially true for two of the most common STDs, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Both are easily treated, but because they are often asymptomatic (especially in females), screening is necessary to detect infection. In 2003, only 29% of young women aged 16--25 years in commercial managed health-care plans were screened for chlamydia, compared with breast and cervical cancer screening rates of approximately 75% (3). CDC and professional organizations such as the American Medical Association recommend that all sexually active women aged <25 years receive screening for chlamydia each year (4). Advances in diagnostic technology, including tests that can evaluate urine and vaginal swab specimens, enable screening for STDs in various settings, including school-based clinics and community-based organizations. Additional information regarding chlamydia and other STDs is available at


  1. Weinstock H, Berman S, Cates W Jr. Sexually transmitted diseases among American youth: incidence and prevalence estimates, 2000. Perspect Sex Reprod Health 2004;36:6--10.
  2. Chesson HW, Blandford JM, Gift TL, Tao G, Irwin KL. The estimated direct medical cost of sexually transmitted diseases among American youth, 2000. Perspect Sex Reprod Health 2004;36:11--9.
  3. National Committee for Quality Assurance. The state of health care quality 2004. Washington, DC: National Committee for Quality Assurance; 2004. Available at
  4. CDC. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines 2002. MMWR 2002;51(No. RR-6).

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

Disclaimer   All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from ASCII text into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the electronic PDF version and/or the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to

Date last reviewed: 4/21/2005


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd, MailStop E-90, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A


Department of Health
and Human Services