Protect the health of your patients: knowing whom to screen for STIs

Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise,1 making screening your female patients even more essential. Leading health organizations recommend universal screening for all women under the age of 25 and for women ages 25 and older who are at increased risk.2,3 Yet, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), screening rates remain lower than they should be, based on guidelines.4 Research suggests that patient discomfort and lack of time may be barriers to identifying risk and screening accordingly.5

New AAFP STI practice manual

Based on current guidelines, the AAFP has recently released an STI screening practice manual that supports chlamydia and gonorrhea screening for the following patient populations.4*

  • Women <25 years who are sexually active
  • Women 25+ if at risk
  • Pregnant women if at risk
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM) if at risk
  • All HIV+ individuals

The AAFP also recommends obtaining a sexual history at the initial visit, annual preventive visit, or whenever a patient presents with a sexual health concern.4

Read manual

*Guidelines for HIV+ and MSM are based on the CDC guideline (2015). All other recommendations are based on the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)/American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

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Know the facts: STIs on the rise

STIs remain a major public health challenge in the US, especially among women, who are disproportionately affected.6

  • ~2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were diagnosed in the US in 2017, surpassing the record set in 20161
  • Chlamydia and gonorrhea are often asymptomatic in women7,8
  • Left untreated, STIs may result in pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility or ectopic pregnancy9
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Asking the right questions to identify risk

Guidelines recommend screening for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas for sexually active women ages 25 and older if at increased risk for infection.2,3 Assessing risk starts with knowing your patient’s sexual history. Below are 3 key questions that may help.

  • Do you use condoms: never, sometimes, or always?
  • In the past 12 months, how many partners have you had sex with?
  • Have you ever had an STI? Has a partner had an STI?

For more information, tune in for our webinars and hear from Dr Stephanie Taylor, medical director at the LSU-CrescentCare Sexual Health Center and an expert in STIs. You can also review the AAFP STI practice manual.

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Know when It’s Best to Test

The It’s Best to Test program from Quest Diagnostics can help your office get started with a routine chlamydia and gonorrhea screening protocol for females under the age of 25.

  • Young women ages 15–24 are most at risk for STIs, but don’t want to feel singled out1†
  • Guidelines recommend chlamydia and gonorrhea screening of all sexually active females under 253,4,10-12
  • Because early infection is often asymptomatic, these women may have an infection and not know it1
  • It’s Best to Test helps you easily integrate screening into your practice for your female patients under the age of 25, providing both patient materials and a variety of testing options

Positive results may need to be reported to the authorities under applicable law.

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Zero in on risk with comprehensive screening

Quest Diagnostics is dedicated to providing you with the information and tools you need to protect the reproductive health of your female patients.

Test Name

Test Code

CPT Code

Chlamydia Trachomatis/Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA*


87491, 87591

SureSwab®, CT/NG, T. vaginalis


87491, 87591, 87661

SureSwab®, Trichomonas vaginalis RNA, Qualitative, TMA



*Panel components can be ordered separately: 11361, Chlamydia RNA, TMA, Urogenital (CPT: 87491) and 11362, Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA, Urogenital (CPT: 87591)

The CPT codes provided are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Please direct any questions regarding coding to the payer being billed.

Better identify and manage STIs among your patients.

Learn more about STI risk and solutions that can help you and your patients.


Read STI conversation starter flyer


Read It's Best to Test brochure


Read It's Best to Test patient tear pad


View STI Webinars


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Address your patients’ needs efficiently

In addition to a comprehensive STI test menu, Quest also offers:

Extensive plan coverage—Quest is an in-network, national lab provider with most major health plans, helping you streamline practice workflow

Quanum Lab Services Manager—order supplies and specimen pick-up with just a few clicks

Patient engagement resources—including the MyQuest™ patient portal and app, which allow patients to review test results and schedule appointments

Patient Assistance Program—enables underinsured patients to get the STI testing they need, at a cost they can afford


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New CDC analysis shows steep and sustained increased in STDs in recent years [press release]. August 28, 2018. Accessed here March 29, 2019.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2015 sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. June 4, 2015. Accessed here March 29, 2019.
  3. US Preventive Services Task Force. Final recommendation statement chlamydia and gonorrhea: screening. September 23, 2014. Accessed here March 29, 2019.
  4. American Academy of Family Physicians. Screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections Practice Manual. 2019. Accessed December 16, 2019.
  5. Quest Diagnostics. Drivers and barriers to testing at-risk women for STIs: full report. December 2018.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How STDs impact women differently from men. January 2018. Accessed December 16, 2019.
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chlamydia: detailed fact sheet. October 4, 2016. Accessed December 16, 2019.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gonorrhea: detailed fact sheet. October 26, 2016. Accessed December 16, 2019.
  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)—CDC fact sheet. December 11, 2015. Accessed December 16, 2019.
  10. American Academy of Pediatrics. Bright futures: guidelines for health supervision of infants, children, and adolescents, 4th Edition. 2017.
  11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Which STD tests should I get? June 30, 2014. Accessed December 16, 2019.
  12. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. December 2016. Accessed December 16, 2019.