Reporting and Confidentiality
Accurate and timely reporting of STIs is integral to public health efforts in assessing morbidity trends, allocating limited resources, and assisting local health authorities with partner notification and treatment. STI and HIV/AIDS cases should be reported in accordance with state and local statutory requirements. Syphilis (including congenital syphilis), gonorrhea, chlamydia, chancroid, and HIV are reportable diseases in every state. Because the requirements for reporting other STIs differ by state, clinicians should be familiar with the reporting requirements applicable within their jurisdictions.
Reporting can be provider based, laboratory based, or both. Clinicians who are unsure of state and local reporting requirements should seek advice from state or local health department STI programs. STI and HIV reports are kept confidential. In most jurisdictions, such reports are protected by statute or regulation. Before conducting a follow-up of a person with a positive STI test result, public health professionals should consult the patient’s health care provider, if possible, to inform them of the purpose of the public health visit, verify the diagnosis, determine the treatments received, and ascertain the best approaches to patient follow-up.