2006 STD Prevention Conference - Lead Press Release, 8 May 2006

2006 National STD Prevention Conference Brings Together Medical, Community, and Government Leaders in U.S. Fight against STDs

  • Conference examines new data on STD prevalence and risk factors identifies challenges and opportunities for preventing STDs in most-affected communities

Jacksonville, Fla. (May 8) – Leading community, academic, government, and medical experts in the field of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) convened in Jacksonville today to open the 2006 National STD Prevention Conference, the only major U.S. conference that focuses exclusively on advances and challenges in efforts to halt the spread of STDs. The meeting is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with support from the American Sexually Transmitted Disease Association (ASTDA), the American Social Health Association (ASHA), and the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD).

Hundreds of scientific presentations will examine every aspect of STD prevention, including surveillance and epidemiology, novel prevention and diagnostic technologies, prevention policy, and innovative programs for at-risk populations.

Data released at the meeting will include new national data on syphilis prevalence, new research on the impact of repeat chlamydia infection among women, and the first data on the prevalence and risk factors for lesser-known but potentially serious STDs, including bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis. Researchers will also present the latest information on the impact of lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) – a sexually transmitted disease caused by a form of Chlamydia bacteria – and efforts to improve diagnosis and prevention of the disease.

CDC will also launch the update of its National Plan to Eliminate Syphilis during the conference. While syphilis rates in many at-risk populations – including blacks, women, and newborns – have declined significantly since the launch of CDC’s original elimination plan in 1999, updates to the plan are designed to maintain that progress, while responding to serious challenges posed by the reemergence of syphilis among men who have sex with men (MSM).

“An estimated 19 million STD infections occur every year in the United States – half of them among people under the age of 25,” said Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of CDC’s National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHSTP). “The experts who join us this week share our commitment to reducing the health and economic impact of STDs in communities across the country and to developing new standards of excellence in prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”

“Data from the conference will show that STDs remain a serious health threat in the United States,” said Dr. John M. Douglas, Jr., Director of NCHSTP’s Division of STD Prevention. “Innovative STD screening and prevention efforts have made substantial progress in diagnosing and preventing STDs in recent years, but our sustained commitment to STD prevention is essential to build on these successes.”

The 2006 National STD Prevention Conference is an opportunity for clinicians, public health officials, scientists, and communities to share successes and challenges in treatment and prevention, and to strengthen collaboration between governmental, community, and academic partners in STD prevention.