Eleven of the 1990 Objectives for the Nation1 addressed sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). When the objectives were established in 1979, five involved national priority areas: syphilis, gonorrhea, gonococcal pelvic inflammatory disease, provider proficiency, and student awareness. The other six objectives addressed nongonococcal urethritis, chlamydial pneumonia, neonatal herpes, condom use, STD screening in the workplace, and STD reporting levels; however, because of data limitations in 1979, these objectives were considered lower priority. This article summarizes progress through December 1988 toward the five priority objectives.
By 1990, reported incidence of primary and secondary syphilis should be reduced to a rate of seven cases per 100,000 population per year, with a reduction in congenital syphilis to 1.5 cases per 100,000 children under 1 year of age.
This objective is unlikely to be met. Although crude rates of primary and secondary syphilis decreased markedly between 1982 and 1986, they subsequently increased and, by