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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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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