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CDC’s STI Treatment Guidelines Timeline: The Evolution of Sexual Healthcare

1943 – Penicillin used for the first time to treat and cure syphilis.

1940s-1950s – Penicillin and other antibiotics became the standard treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

1960s – Improved diagnostics for gonorrhea (GC), helped pave the way for heightened U.S. government focus on gonorrhea control.

1972, 1974, 1979 – Recommended Treatment Schedules for Gonorrhea published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

1979 – First STD prevention training center model clinics established. Known today as the National Network of STD Prevention Training Centers, these centers are central to training healthcare providers nationwide.

1982 – First comprehensive, CDC Treatment Guidelines for STDs published in MMWR.

1986 – Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Program (GISP) established to help inform STD Treatment Guidelines updates.

1989 – Due to increasing resistance, penicillin and tetracycline no longer recommended to treat GC. Ceftriaxone plus doxycycline was recommended for uncomplicated gonorrhea.

1989-1993 – The STD Treatment Guidelines evolved from a quick reference guide on treatment into a more comprehensive care resource providing patient-centered care.

1993 – Fluoroquinolones became one of the recommended options for GC treatment. Public awareness of human papilloma virus (HPV) grows, leading to expansion of coverage in STD Treatment Guidelines content.

1990s-early 2000s – STD Treatment Guidelines go digital with first website established – making all content freely available online.

2006 – STD Treatment Guidelines expansion to discuss management of asymptomatic persons at risk for STDs.

2007 – Fluoroquinolones no longer recommended for GC treatment – cephalosporins became backbone of GC treatment.

2010 – STD Treatment Guidelines Pocket Guide and high-resolution Wall Chart created.

2012 –Ceftriaxone only recommended antimicrobial to treat gonorrhea.

2013 – STD Treatment Guidelines App created – allowing more providers to access the Guidelines.

2015 – Last full edition of STD Treatment Guidelines released; included updates on alternative treatment regimens for gonorrhea, transgender healthcare management, the role of Mycoplasma genitalium in urethritis/cervicitis, and retesting to detect repeat chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas infections.

Today – CDC, with consultation from experts in the field, continues to update based on emerging evidence as appropriate the STI Treatment Guidelines to ensure healthcare providers have access to optimal management and treatment guidance.

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