PrEP services could enhance STI control, says World Health Organization

The roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) provides an opportunity to bring down the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), provided that PrEP and STI programmes are better co-ordinated and integrated, representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday at the 10th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019) in Mexico City.

While much of the debate and research on the relationship between PrEP and STIs has focused on gay men in high-income countries, the greatest gains in STI control could be achieved in low- and middle-income countries, the conference was told.

The high rates of STIs in people using PrEP should spur policy makers, healthcare providers and activists to create better services, speakers suggested. As people who could benefit from PrEP most are also likely to be at increased risk of STIs, PrEP can be an entry point to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, including STI screening and treatment. Equally, clinics testing and treating STIs should offer PrEP to those who would benefit. Read more via AIDSmap