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Talk. Test. Treat. Campaign

Talk. Test. Treat.

Talk. Test. Treat. is a campaign that encourages individuals and healthcare providers to take three simple actions – Talk. Test. Treat. – to protect their health, the health of their partners, and that of their patients. The campaign reinforces that all STIs are preventable and treatable, and most are curable.

Talk. Test. Treat. includes graphics with STI care options outside of the traditional clinical setting. We encourage partners to promote their local options when using this campaign.


If you are sexually active, or thinking of becoming sexually active, it is important that you Talk. Test. Treat. to protect your health. These three small actions can have a big impact on your sexual health!


Talk openly and honestly to your partner(s) and your healthcare provider about sexual health and STIs. Talk with your partner(s) BEFORE having sex. Not sure how? We have tips to help you start the conversation. Make sure your discussion covers several important ways to make sex safer:

  • Talk about when you were last tested and suggest getting tested together.
  • If you have an STI (like herpes or HIV), tell your partner.
  • Agree to only have sex with each other.
  • Use condoms the right way for every act of vaginal, anal, and oral sex throughout the entire sex act (from start to finish).

Talk with your healthcare provider about your sex life as it relates to your health. This helps your healthcare provider understand what STD tests you should be getting and how often. Here are a few questions you should expect and be prepared to answer honestly:

  • Have you been sexually active in the last year?
  • Do you have sex with men, women, or both?
  • In the past 12 months, how many sexual partners have you had?
  • Do you have anal, oral, or vaginal sex?
  • What are you doing to protect yourself from STIs?

Not all medical checkups include STD testing, so don’t assume that you’ve been tested unless you discuss it with your provider. If your provider does not discuss sex or STI testing with you, bring it up.

Ask your healthcare provider whether certain vaccines, like the hepatitis B vaccine or the HPV vaccine are right for you.


Get tested. It’s the only way to know for sure if you have an STI.

Many STIs don’t cause any symptoms, so you could have one and not know. If you’re having sex, getting tested is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health.

Learn which tests CDC recommends for you. Even if you’re pregnant, you can still get an STI. If you’re having sex, you’re still at risk.

Find out what STI care options are available near you. In addition to traditional, in-person visits, other options that may be available include:

  • Video or phone appointments with your healthcare provider.
  • Express visits allow walk-in STI testing and treatment appointments without a full clinical exam.
  • Pharmacies and retail clinics, such as at a grocery store or big-box store, for on-site testing and treatment.
  • At-home collection where you collect your own sample and take or mail it to a lab for testing.

If you’re not comfortable talking with your regular healthcare provider about STIs, find a clinic near you that provides confidential testing that’s free or low cost.


If you test positive for an STI, work with your healthcare provider to get the correct treatment.

Some STIs can be cured with the right medicine, and all STIs are treatable. Make sure your treatment works by doing these things:

  • Take all of the medication your healthcare provider prescribes, even if you start feeling better or your symptoms go away.
  • Don’t share your medicine with anyone.
  • Avoid having sex again until you and your sex partner(s) have all completed treatment.

Your healthcare provider can talk with you about which medications are right for you.

Healthcare Providers

While the idea of Talk. Test. Treat. is simple, STI prevention and treatment are not one-size-fits-all. We encourage you, our nation’s healthcare providers, to revisit the many ways that you can empower your patients to take charge of their sexual health.

Make sure your patients are aware of the different ways they may be able to access critical STI care, during STI Awareness Week and beyond. In addition to traditional, in-person visits, other options include:

  • Express visits allow walk-in STI testing and treatment appointments without a full clinical exam.
  • Partnerships with pharmacies and retail health clinics can provide new access points for STD services, such as on-site testing and treatment.
  • Telehealth/telemedicine can close gaps in STD testing and treatment, ensure access to healthcare providers, and support self-testing. This is especially critical in rural areas.
  • At-home specimen collection allows patients to collect their own sample and take or mail it to a lab for testing. There is also an FDA-approved HIV self-test. These options could be useful when in-person services are not available or feasible.


Providing the best medical care possible means talking to your patients about sexual health.

Taking a sexual history should be a part of routine care.

Talking about sexual health can be challenging, but studies show that patients want to be asked about sex. The following tips can help to ensure the most productive conversations with your patients:

  • Help foster trust with your patient before their visit even starts by creating a welcoming and inclusive clinic or office environment. For example, you can use these tips to make your office teen friendly.
  • Make sure your patients are comfortable and in a private space, especially before asking sensitive questions; this includes assuring patients their confidentiality is being protected by everyone in your office.
  • Help normalize sexual health questions and STI/HIV testing recommendations by letting your patients know you ask these questions and offer these services to all patients, as sexual health is a normal part of a person’s overall health and well-being.
  • Avoid making assumptions about your patients; asking is the only way to know for sure. Standardize sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI) questions and use open-ended questions when taking a sexual history.
  • If your patient is hesitant to answer a question, try rephrasing it or briefly explain why you are asking it.
  • Ensure that you and your patient share an understanding of the terms being used to avoid confusion.

Counsel your patients on safe sex, and ensure that they know about today’s many prevention options. With condoms, hepatitis B and HPV vaccines, and even a daily medication to prevent HIV infection – there have never been more ways for your patients to protect themselves.

Certain STI diagnoses can cause fear and anxiety in your patient.


Test your patients for STIs as recommended.

Use the sexual history to determine which STIs you should test for and the anatomical sites to testexternal icon.

STD screening recommendations for different patient populations are available. Below is a brief overview.

  • All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
  • All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STI should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.
  • Everyone who is pregnant should be tested for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C starting early in pregnancy. Those at risk for infection should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea starting early in pregnancy. Repeat testing may be needed in some cases.
  • All sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men should be tested:
    • At least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should be tested more frequently (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
    • At least once a year for HIV and may benefit from more frequent HIV testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
    • At least once a year for hepatitis C, if living with HIV.
  • Anyone who engages in sexual behaviors that could place them at risk for infection or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.

Keep in mind that screening recommendations are sources of clinical guidance, not prescriptive standards. Always consider a patient’s sexual history and the burden of disease in their community.

Once a patient has been tested, make sure they know how they will get their test results.


Follow CDC’s STI Treatment Guidelines to ensure appropriate treatment and care.

The 2021 STI Treatment Guidelines are the most current recommendations for treating patients who have, or who are at risk for STDs.

Important treatment topics to be aware of:

Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) may be an option in cases where a patient’s partner is unwilling or unable to access care.

Reinfection is common for some STIs. Encourage your patients to return for follow-up testing in three months.

Drug-resistant gonorrhea is an immediate public health threat requiring urgent and aggressive action.

Preserve our last treatment option by only treating your patients with the recommended treatment (ceftriaxone 500mg intramuscularly in a single dose).

TALK. TEST. TREAT. - Social Media Campaign Materials

These social media messages for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can help amplify STI prevention messages during STI Awareness Week. Select messages that align with your audiences and goals. Additional suggestions to keep in mind:

  • Use #STIWeek and #TalkTestTreat hashtags on Twitter and Instagram during STI Awareness Week to join the conversation and share information, pictures, and videos.
  • Customize messages with local testing options. Incorporate local hashtags that may help your messages reach your target audience.
  • Share messages with Talk. Test. Treat. campaign graphics or your own images, GIFs, and videos.
  • Follow and tag @NCDHHS on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Sample Social Media Messages and Graphics

Day 1: Spread Awareness about STI Awareness Week and Talk. Test. Treat. Theme

Post 1:

#STIweek is here! Learn how these 3 steps can prevent #STIs: #TalkTestTreat

Post 2:

Spread the word: #STIs CAN be prevented if you #TalkTestTreat during #STIweek & all year long:

Day 2: Encourage Talking, Testing, and Treating


DYK? 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have an STI. Know your #STI care options so you can continue to #TalkTestTreat. #STIweek


Wondering how you can protect yourself from STIs? It’s as simple as Talk. Test. Treat. #TalkTestTreat #STIweek


Las ITS pueden prevenirse si hablas, te haces pruebas y te tratas. Aprende más: #TalkTestTreat #STIweek


DYK? 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have an STI. Know your #STI care options so you can continue to #TalkTestTreat. #STIweek


¡No tengas vergüenza de pedirle a tu proveedor de atención médica que te haga pruebas de #ITS! Encuentra un sitio de pruebas cercano: #TalkTestTreat #STIweek


DYK? 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have an STI. Know your #STI care options so you can continue to #TalkTestTreat. #STIweek


¡No tengas vergüenza de pedirle a tu proveedor de atención médica que te haga pruebas de #ITS! Encuentra un sitio de pruebas cercano: #TalkTestTreat #STIweek

Day 3: Share Local STI Testing Information

Post 1:

#STIs are at an all-time high and prevention is critical. The good news: there are many ways to get STI care! [Organization] is providing STI testing through [testing details]. [Contact information/URL]

Post 2:

For more than [#] years, [organization] has provided #STI testing and treatment. #TalkTestTreat this #STIweek in [State/County/City]! [details/link].

Post 3:

For more than [#] years, [organization] has provided #STI testing and treatment. #TalkTestTreat this #STIweek in [State/County/City]! [details/link].

Day 4: Promote STD Surveillance Report Numbers

2022 surveillance data underscores that STIs must be a public health priority. More than 2.5 million STI cases were reported in the U.S., with syphilis emerging as a unique public health challenge. Sexually Transmitted Infections Surveillance #STIreport #STIweek 

In [insert year], [organization’s state/county/city] had [number] cases of #chlamydia, #gonorrhea, and #syphilis. For #STIweek, know your testing options and #GYT. [Organization] is offering [testing strategy, dates, location]. [Contact information/organization URL]

More than 3,700 babies were born with syphilis in 2022, which was more than 10 times the number in 2012. The increase in newborn syphilis follows rising syphilis cases among women of reproductive age. Learn more about this 100% preventable infection: Sexually Transmitted Infections Surveillance #STIreport


Day 5: Share Resources with Clinicians

Post 1:

Clinicians: Protecting your patients’ health is as easy as #TalkTestTreat. Learn more: #STIweek

Post 2:

Clinicians: Make #sexualhealth a standard part of your practice with these resources: #TalkTestTreat #STIweek


Post 3:

Clinicians: Use #CDC’s STI Treatment Guidelines to ensure the best treatment and care for patients: #TalkTestTreat #STIWeek

Content Source: CDC: STD Awareness Week

Content Source: Talk. Test. Treat. (

Content Source: Sample Social Media - #TalkTestTreat (