What is the future of cervical screening in the era of HPV vaccination?

With the introduction of HPV child vaccination programmes, there will have to be a shift from cytology to HPV testing as the main technology involved in primary cervical screening, say the contributors to an on-coming special issue of Preventive Medicine (Tota & Ratnam I) (T&R). Why?  Well, first, because of the inevitable decline in the positive […]

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A new kind of treatment for multi-resistant gonorrhoea?

Recent research at York University (Ward & Lynam (W&L)), UK, suggests the possible efficacity of carbon monoxide-releasing molecules as an antimicrobial against gonorrhoea.  The work is at an early stage – but the urgency of our current situation lends it a heightened interest. Growing  resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Ng) to the last-defence antibiotic treatments (Lewis/STIs) […]

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Susceptibility of heterosexual sub-Saharan women to HIV could be the result of cervicovaginal microbiome characteristics

Could part of the explanation for the apparent susceptibility of sub-Saharan African heterosexual women to HIV infection (eight-fold that of males) lie in the bacterial flora of their female genital tract (FGT)? Studies published in STI journal have considered the relationship between a certain state of the FGT bacterial microbiome – especially the depletion of […]

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Location of HIV-2 emergence determined by distribution of indigenous cultural practices of male circumcision

Sousa & Vandamme demonstrate a robust correlation between HIV-2 prevalence at the time of the 1980s surveys and the absence of indigenous practices of male circumcision earlier in the century.  This is a complex and interdisciplinary study, involving some of the earliest large-scale, West African serological surveys of HIV-2 (1980s) and extensive ethnography of the […]

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Revised UK NICE Guidelines for HIV testing: why local prevalence based targeting by GPs and hospitals makes sense

November 2016 saw the publication of revised UK NICE Guidelines for HIV testing (last updated 2011) – only a few weeks before the appearance of the annual Public Health England Report: HIV in the UK/2016.  The latter highlights the estimated level of still undiagnosed HIV in the UK (which, at 13,500/101,000, places us 3% short […]

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UNAIDS 2016 Report: How a ‘life-cycle’ approach can help the world ‘get on the fast track’ to HIV prevention

‘Get on the Fast Track: a Life-cycle Approach to HIV’ is the latest UNAIDS report, following on from the UN Assembly’s 2016 declaration of commitment to ‘Fast Track’ goals for ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The major theme of the ‘life-cycle’ appears to owe much to the findings of the South African CAPRISA study – above […]

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School-based sexuality programmes fail to demonstrate an influence on STI and pregnancy outcomes

The 2016 UNAIDS Report – Get on the Fast Track: a Life-Cycle Approach to STI Prevention/STI/blogs – underlines the particular vulnerability to infection of women at a relatively early phase of the life-cycle, especially in limited resource settings such as sub-Saharan Africa as a result of structural factors .  These can seem intractable, but the authors […]

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Criminalizing HIV transmission: Is imprisonment ever the right response?

This month sees the publication of a ‘Consensual Statement’  by Australian medical professionals on ‘Sexual Transmission and the Law’.  This draws on a similar Canadian ‘Consensus Statement’  issued in 2014. The involvement of the law in this area remains a highly controversial matter.  It is easy to assume that UNAIDS policies underlining the public health […]

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Partner-delivered HIV self-testing through antenatal clinics: the way ahead for partner notification in low-resource settings?

A recently published, Kenya-based, randomized controlled study (Masters & Thirumurthy/STIs) (M&T) evaluates a novel intervention that appears to combine in a fresh way elements of various innovative interventions for HIV prevention.  Recently published studies (e.g. Kissinger/STIs; Estcourt & Cassell/STIs) have explored the potential of ‘expedited’, or ‘accelerated’ partner therapy – where the partner of an […]

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