Where HPV vaccination loses the battle for public support: calculating the health implications for Japan

A recent brief contribution to The Lancet-Oncology (Tanaka & Ueda) uses predictions of the probable health outcomes of the suspension of the Japanese HPV vaccination programme to make the case for an urgent reassessment of the current policy.  This intervention is very timely.  The approved age for HPV vaccination for Japanese girls is a window of four years […]

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Feasibility of infant circumcision as an HIV prevention tool

Recent trials have shown male circumcision (MC) to be associated with a reduced HIV incidence of up to 60%. For this reason UNAIDS has included ambitious goals for circumcision (20 millions MCs) as a major component of its HIV prevention strategies for 14 priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa (STI/blogs/Roll-out of UNAIDS voluntary male circumcision).  The […]

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Prevention of anogenital cancers in women may be an additional benefit of HPV vaccination

Cervical cancer is evidently the most important, but by no means the only, health risk that vaccination against HPV aims to avert. The potential impact of vaccination on other cancers (not to mention genital warts) may also be a factor in estimating the cost benefit of achieving higher vaccination coverage, as well as determining priorities […]

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Fresh WHO guidelines on gonorrhoea management + latest US surveillance data on gonorrhoea resistance

The emergence in various locations of resistant strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Ng) is narrowing the therapeutic options. The recent (July 2016) WHO Guidelines, revised from 2003, reflect the concern both to treat effectively and steward our remaining defences against the infection in a globally coordinated manner.  They recommend either dual therapy with either single dose […]

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Cochrane says: Chlamydia screening may have very limited impact, but more research is needed

There is a strong rationale for systematic Chlamydia screening, and it is widely recommended and practised. Yet there are harms associated with the screening process (Low(STIs)), and, of course, serious concerns about its cost-effectiveness (De Wit & Kretzschmar (STIs)).  This lends urgency to the question of whether Chlamydia screening works – addressed in a recently […]

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First study of population-level preventative impact of Medical Male Circumcision and ART on HIV incidence in a country of sub-Saharan Africa

Clinical studies have demonstrated the potential effectiveness of ART (HPTN 052) and Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) (Gray & Kigozi/STIs) as preventative measures against HIV.  This led WHO/UNAIDS to launch a Joint Strategic Action Framework (JSAF) setting a target in 14 priority sub-Saharan countries of 80% VMMC by 2016. What, then, are the potential gains of ART and VMMC interventions in […]

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Viral suppression through ART prevents HIV transmission between long-term sero-different MSM and heterosexual partners regardless of condom use

The HPTN 052 study demonstrated the preventative benefit of ART, showing a dramatic 96% reduction in HIV transmission in HIV+ participants randomized to early ART initiation compared with the group that deferred treatment.  This is very encouraging.  But from the perspective of a gay person considering the risk of engaging in condomless sex with a […]

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How Mobile Technology Can Lead to Improved Care of STIs – by Julie Potyraj

Blog by Julie Potyraj, Community Manager, Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University e: jpotyraj@publichealthonline.gwu.edu As we move into an era where our phones do everything from lowering the temperature in our homes to arranging a ride, it comes as no surprise that these devices also offer a new way to meet and engage […]

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Is increasing gonorrhoea resistance in MSM is a result of more treatment, rather than greater sexual activity?

Emerging antibiotic resistance to the last-ditch treatment of Neisseria gonorrhoeae compels health policy-makers to balance opposing concerns.  On the one hand, successfully combating spread of the infection requires targeted treatment of core-group individuals.  On the other, a focus on the core-group causes a rebound in core-group incidence, with maximal dissemination of resistance (Chan & McCabe/STIs (C&M); […]

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Global patterns in ante-natal syphilis prevalence: Why is sub-Saharan Africa different?

‘Can a meaningful pattern be discerned in the large variations in syphilis rates over the last century?’ This is the question addressed by a recent systematic review – Kenyon & Tsoumanis (K&T) – based on published data on ante-natal syphilis prevalence (ASP) from those countries for which that data is available since at least 1951.   […]

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