CEU Course Details


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A Guide to Taking a Sexual History

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For a more complete picture of patient health, this course offers parameters for discussion of sexual health issues.  A sexual history needs to be taken during an initial visit, during routine preventive exams, and when a practitioner sees signs of sexually transmitted diseases.  The dialogue presented in this course lends itself to the opportunity for risk-reduction counseling and sharing information about behaviors that may place a patient at risk of contracting STDs. 

Because some patients may not be comfortable talking about their sexual history, sex partners, or sexual practices, this guide helps treatment professionals put patients at ease and show patients that taking a sexual history is an important part of a regular medical exam or physical history.

Following the guidelines presented here allows the practitioner to identify those individuals at risk for STDs, including HIV, and to identify appropriate anatomical sites for certain STD tests.  Clinicians are reminded that the guidelines may need to be modified to be culturally appropriate for some patients based on culture or gender dynamics.

This course is based upon material published by the Centers for Disease Control and is available as an open access article.

This course on taking a sexual history is designed for interns and begining level practitioners who have limited experience and wish to develop their understanding of sexual history-taking.  The course material includes suggestions on how to approach the topic of sexual history and conduct a thorough discussion of the topic.  I   

Authors:  United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding the importance of taking a sexual history and how to conduct the discussion.  Specifically, a professional will:

  • Describe the Five Ps of Sexual Health
  • Identify questions to ask for each of the Five Ps
  • Recognize how to complete the history-taking activity


Citation:  Centers for Disease Control. (retrieved 2/10/2018 from CDC website). A Guide to Taking a Sexual History. 

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  • The Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling Provider #852 BAP-Expires 3/31/2021
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