The Syndromic Approach to RTI-STI Case Management

RTI-STI case management of symptomatic men and women at the primary level typically uses the syndromic approach:


  1. Syndromic diagnosis
  2. Treatment
  3. Education
  4. Counseling
  5. Condom promotion
  6. Partner notification
  7. Follow-up


The syndromic approach misses many cases, particularly in asymptomatic individuals. It also can lead to overtreatment, which has costs, causes unnecessary side effects, and has resistance implications. The syndromic approach, however, can be effective for the most common syndromes, which account for the vast majority of cases, and it is easy to learn and can be performed at all levels of a health system.

Key Resource for RTI/STI Case Management:

WHO, 2005. Sexually Transmitted and Other Reproductive Tract Infections: A Guide to Essential Practice