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Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 Aug;17(8):e235-e279. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30310-9. Epub 2017 Jul 9.

Sexually transmitted infections: challenges ahead.

Author information

1
WHO Collaborating Centre for Gonorrhoea and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
2
Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Alfred Health, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
3
Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
4
STI Outpatient Clinic, Public Health Service of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Amsterdam Institute for Infection and Immunity, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Department of Dermatology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
5
MRC Tropical Epidemiology Group, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
6
Clinical Research Unit, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
7
Department of Medicine, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL, USA.
8
Department of Infectious Diseases, Public Health Service of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
9
STI Outpatient Clinic, Public Health Service of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
10
Disease Prevention and Control Population Health Division, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA, USA.
11
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
12
Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Alfred Health, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. Electronic address: cfairley@mshc.org.au.

Abstract

WHO estimated that nearly 1 million people become infected every day with any of four curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs): chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Despite their high global incidence, STIs remain a neglected area of research. In this Commission, we have prioritised five areas that represent particular challenges in STI treatment and control. Chlamydia remains the most commonly diagnosed bacterial STI in high-income countries despite widespread testing recommendations, sensitive and specific non-invasive testing techniques, and cheap effective therapy. We discuss the challenges for chlamydia control and evidence to support a shift from the current focus on infection-based screening to improved management of diagnosed cases and of chlamydial morbidity, such as pelvic inflammatory disease. The emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae is globally recognised. We review current and potential future control and treatment strategies, with a focus on novel antimicrobials. Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal disorder in women, but current treatments are associated with frequent recurrence. Recurrence after treatment might relate to evidence that suggests sexual transmission is integral to the pathogenesis of bacterial vaginosis, which has substantial implications for the development of effective management approaches. STIs disproportionately affect low-income and middle-income countries. We review strategies for case management, focusing on point-of-care tests that hold considerable potential for improving STI control. Lastly, STIs in men who have sex with men have increased since the late 1990s. We discuss the contribution of new biomedical HIV prevention strategies and risk compensation. Overall, this Commission aims to enhance the understanding of some of the key challenges facing the field of STIs, and outlines new approaches to improve the clinical management of STIs and public health.

PMID:
28701272
DOI:
10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30310-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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