Review decision: 

PH3 Prevention of sexually transmitted infections and under 18 conceptions is to be updated

Next review date: TBC

NICE recommendations include the following advice:

  • Assess people’s risk of having a sexually transmitted infection (STI), when the opportunity arises. For example, this could happen when someone attends for contraception, or to register as a new patient.
  • Offer advice to people at high risk of an STI in a structured discussion, or arrange for them to see someone who is trained to give this type of advice. The discussion should cover ways to help people reduce the risks.
  • Help people with an STI to get their partners tested and treated. This might involve referring the person to a specialist. People with STIs and their partners should receive information about the infection they have.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) should make sure there are enough sexual health services locally and enough staff trained to run them.

This guidance was previously called prevention of sexually transmitted infections and under 18 conceptions.

It is for professionals who are responsible for, or who work in, sexual health services. This includes general practitioners and professionals working in  contraceptive services, genitourinary medicine and school clinics.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.