Jason Ong, PhD, MMed, MBBS, FAChSHM, FRACGP Twitter: @DrJasonJOng Sexual Health Physician, Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Alfred Health Associate Professor (Hon), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK Central Clinical School, Monash University, Australia Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia  Associate Editor, Sexually Transmitted Infections Special Issues Editor, Sexual Health Board Director, ASHM 

STD Infections Common Among Those Starting or Staying on PReP for HIV Prevention

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jason Ong, PhD, MMed, MBBS, FAChSHM, FRACGP Twitter: @DrJasonJOng Sexual Health Physician, Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Alfred Health Associate Professor (Hon), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK Central Clinical School, Monash University, Australia Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia  Associate Editor, Sexually Transmitted Infections Special Issues Editor, Sexual Health Board Director, ASHM 

Dr. Jason Ong

Jason Ong, PhD, MMed, MBBS, FAChSHM, FRACGP
Twitter: @DrJasonJOng
Sexual Health Physician, Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Alfred Health
Associate Professor (Hon), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
Central Clinical School, Monash University, Australia
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia
Associate Editor, Sexually Transmitted Infections
Special Issues Editor, Sexual Health
Board Director, ASHM  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is being rolled out globally. This will protect many people from HIV, however PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections (STI). So we wanted to quantify how much STIs are in PrEP users as a means to advocate to strengthen sexual health services in these settings where PrEP is being offered.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We reviewed 88 studies from 26 countries and found a high proportion of people starting PrEP had an STI, suggesting that PrEP programs were targeting the right people (i.e. high risk for both HIV and STIs).

This high STI rate did not reduce over time i.e. PrEP users continued to stay at risk for STIs, suggesting the need for ongoing sexual health services among PrEP users.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our findings underscore the lost opportunities if STI services are not provided for individuals using PrEP and highlights the opportunity to harness the growing interest in providing PrEP programs globally to be a gateway to provide more comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services for all PrEP users.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We recommend future studies of PrEP programs to report their STI data broken down by subgroups (e.g. young people, transgender people, gender) so that we can better understand how STIs are affecting each group. This could help in prioritizing STI services to those at greatest need in resource-limited settings.

Disclosures: Our research team was sponsored by the World Health Organization to conduct this research, who are strong advocates for strengthening sexual health services globally.

STIs are still a big problem globally. We need to prioritize funding for the development of affordable diagnostics for STIs. STI management in low- and middle-income countries often rely on syndromic management (i.e. treating people with symptoms only), which will miss a large proportion of curable STIs.

Citation:

Ong JJ, Baggaley RC, Wi TE, et al. Global Epidemiologic Characteristics of Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Individuals Using Preexposure Prophylaxis for the Prevention of HIV InfectionA Systematic Review and Meta-analysisJAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(12):e1917134. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.17134

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Last Modified: Dec 11, 2019 @ 5:44 pm

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