Determinants of sexually transmitted disease (STD) incidence have been described at the individual and the population level of analysis. Some issues of measurement remain unresolved in the assessment of risk and preventive behaviors. In general, risk behaviors (sexual, substance abuse, health) and contextual determinants of risk tend to occur together. Population prevalence of many STD risk behaviors is higher among minority populations of lower socioeconomic status. The major issues related to the choice of target groups involve lack of adequate data. Different behavioral interventions may be more appropriate for specific STD. The most important unresolved issue in the context of intervention research may be that interventions to change sexual behaviors are not supported by conclusive empirical evidence. In the past, in most countries, policy instruments have not been used effectively to achieve risk-reducing changes in sexual behavior. Elaboration of these points provides a description of the state of behavioral issues in STD research.