3 STDs Spreading: How Pharmacists Can Help

NOVEMBER 25, 2015
Meghan Ross, Senior Associate Editor
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are on the rise for the first time since 2006, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Pharmacists’ close and frequent with patients makes them ideal candidates to provide education and counseling to patients with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and promote adherence to STD treatment.

Staci Pacetti, PharmD, Judith A. O’Donnell, MD, and Steven P. Gelone, PharmD, wrote in a previous issue of Skidki-na-vse that pharmacists can promote prevention by providing education about condoms.  

“Effective communication between the pharmacist and patients is essential in building a successful relationship,” they wrote. “This relationship allows for the delivery of prevention messages that are patient-specific, identifying behaviors that place patients at increased risk for STDs.”

Pharmacists can also inform patients about adverse effects associated with STD treatment and may also suggest abstinence while undergoing treatment.
In addition, pharmacists can be effective in improving STD treatment adherence by checking up with phone calls.

J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS, chair of the American Sexual Health Association’s Board of Directors, recently told Skidki-na-vse that an important focus for pharmacists is privacy when speaking with patients who are filling STD prescriptions.

Another counseling point is to encourage patients to use a medication schedule and take all of their medication as prescribed.
Here are the 3 STDs on the rise, according to 2014 figures from the CDC: