STDs That Are Nationally Notifiable Diseases

Nationally notifiable diseases are diseases that doctors are required to report to the CDC. Reporting these diseases to the government allows for their incidence to be monitored and tracked. That, hopefully, makes it easier for the government to intervene sooner rather than later.

Disease reporting allows the government to efficiently become aware of outbreaks so they can improve the likelihood of early intervention. It is designed to balance privacy with the public's health.

Hospital staff discussing patient charts
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STDs on the Nationally Notifiable Diseases Reporting List

There are several sexually transmitted diseases on the nationally notifiable diseases reporting list. As of 2019, the reportable STDs are:

STDs are not nationally notifiable diseases because the government wants to invade your privacy. They're nationally notifiable diseases because the government has a vested interest in protecting the public health. It is theoretically possible to reduce the spread of STDs through regular screening, prompt treatment, and efficient contact tracing. Therefore, the government wants to be aware of any concentrated epidemics or new outbreaks. This allows them to intervene with prevention and/or treatment measures most efficiently.

For example, it was at least in part due to national disease reporting systems that scientists became aware of the HIV epidemic among heterosexual, African American residents of Washington DC. The population of the nation's capital, in the first decade of the 21st century, had HIV levels similar to those seen in Sub Saharan Africa. This realization has led to a number of targeted interventions designed at improving prevention, testing, and treatment in the District.

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019 National Notifiable Conditions.

  2. Greenberg AE, Hader SL, Masur H, Young AT, Skillicorn J, Dieffenbach CW. Fighting HIV/AIDS in Washington, D.C. Health Aff (Millwood). 2009;28(6):1677-87. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.28.6.1677