Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) constitute an epidemic of tremendous magnitude, with an estimated 15 million persons in the United States acquiring a new STD each year. Effective clinical management of STDs is a strategic common element in efforts to prevent HIV infection and to improve reproductive and sexual health. Sexually transmitted diseases may result in severe, long-term, costly complications, including facilitation of HIV infection, tubal infertility, adverse outcomes of pregnancy, and cervical and other types of anogenital cancer. The publication of national guidelines for the management of STDs, by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been a key component of federal initiatives to improve the health of the U.S. population by preventing and controlling STDs and their sequelae. This paper presents new recommendations from the 2002 CDC Guidelines for the Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the context of current disease trends and public health.