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1.
Actas Dermosifiliogr ; 114(7): T580-T586, 2023.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236178

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: SARS-CoV-2 is more easily spread by close contact, which is inherent to sexual intercourse. People with, or at risk for, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may therefore have higher rates of COVID-19. The aim of this study was to estimate SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence in people seen at a dedicated STI clinic, compare our findings to the estimated seroprevalence in the local general population, and study factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in this setting. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cross-sectional observational study including consecutive patients older than 18 years of age who had not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 and who underwent examination or screening at a dedicated municipal STI clinic in March and April 2021. We ordered rapid SARS-CoV-2 serology and collected information on demographic, social, and sexual variables, STI diagnoses, and history of symptoms compatible with SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: We studied 512 patients (37% women). Fourteen (24.2%) had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. Variables associated with positivity were use of FFP2 masks (odds ratio 0.50) and a higher-than-average number of sexual partners (odds ratio 1.80). Use of FFP2 masks was not randomly distributed in this sample. CONCLUSIONS: Sexually active members of the population in this study had a higher incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection than the general population. The main route of infection in this group appears to be respiratory, linked to close contact during sexual encounters; sexual transmission of the virus is probably limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexual Health , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Humans , Female , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Incidence , Cross-Sectional Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control
2.
Sex Transm Dis ; 50(6): 323-328, 2023 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20231254

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is at an all-time high. Direct-to-consumer STI testing services may help alleviate this undue health burden. These products are sold online and rarely require interaction with a health care professional (HCP). Vendors offer STI self-collection kits or prescriptions for HCP specimen collection. The objective was to understand the scope of direct-to-consumer STI testing services offered and provide recommendations for consumers and industry. METHODS: Seven volunteers searched for "STD tests" on Google from February 1 through March 31, 2021 and shared their top 3 results. The study team extracted data from consumer-facing information on each website. Descriptive statistics and thematic qualitative analyses were performed. RESULTS: Twenty vendors were identified. Most vendors (95%) used Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified or College of American Pathologists (CAP) accredited laboratories. Analyses distinguished between STI self-collection kits (n = 9) using independent laboratories and HCP specimen collection (n = 10), which used commercial laboratories (n = 1 offered both). The STI self-collection kits were cheaper per test and bundle on average (eg, $79.00 vs. $106.50 for chlamydia/gonorrhea), and more closely aligned with clinical recommendations compared with the HCP specimen collection options. Websites often contained inaccurate or misleading information (n = 13), often promoting testing outside of the recommendations. CONCLUSIONS: Direct-to-consumer STI testing services are part of an emerging market lacking regulation. Consumers should select vendors offering prescriptions for HCP specimen collection at CAP accredited and CLIA-certified laboratories. Vendors should provide a screening tool to assess individual patient risk prior to test purchase.


Subject(s)
Chlamydia , Gonorrhea , HIV Infections , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Humans , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Gonorrhea/epidemiology , Internet , Specimen Handling/methods , HIV Infections/epidemiology
3.
Actas Dermosifiliogr ; 114(7): 580-586, 2023.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2309807

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: SARS-CoV-2 is more easily spread by close contact, which is inherent to sexual intercourse. People with, or at risk for, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may therefore have higher rates of COVID-19. The aim of this study was to estimate SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence in people seen at a dedicated STI clinic, compare our findings to the estimated seroprevalence in the local general population, and study factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in this setting. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cross-sectional observational study including consecutive patients older than 18 years of age who had not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 and who underwent examination or screening at a dedicated municipal STI clinic in March and April 2021. We ordered rapid SARS-CoV-2 serology and collected information on demographic, social, and sexual variables, STI diagnoses, and history of symptoms compatible with SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: We studied 512 patients (37% women). Fourteen (24.2%) had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. Variables associated with positivity were use of FFP2 masks (odds ratio 0.50) and a higher-than-average number of sexual partners (odds ratio 1.80). Use of FFP2 masks was not randomly distributed in this sample. CONCLUSIONS: Sexually active members of the population in this study had a higher incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection than the general population. The main route of infection in this group appears to be respiratory, linked to close contact during sexual encounters; sexual transmission of the virus is probably limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexual Health , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Humans , Female , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Incidence , Cross-Sectional Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control
4.
Sex Health ; 20(2): 164-172, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2294570

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sexually transmissible infections (STI) are prevalent and increasing among young Australians. This study examined trends in STI testing, sexual health knowledge/behaviours, and pornography use in young people aged 15- 29years in Victoria, Australia between 2015 and 2021. METHODS: Seven online cross-sectional surveys were conducted in a convenience sample of young people, recruiting a total of 7014 participants (67% female). Logistic regression analyses determined trends over time in binary outcomes. RESULTS: There was a decrease in reports of lifetime vaginal sex over time, while lifetime anal sex remained stable. Among those who had ever had vaginal sex, results showed an increase in the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives on the last occasion of vaginal sex. There was no change in STI testing or condom use with all partner types. Knowledge of STIs and sexual health changed over time: the proportion knowing that chlamydia can make women infertile decreased over time, while knowledge that taking the pill does not reduce fertility increased. There was no change in pornography use after adjusting for demographic variables. CONCLUSIONS: Although uptake of long-acting contraceptives increased, STI knowledge and testing, as well as consistent condom use, remained low. Public health interventions should continue to address these critical components of STI prevention.


Subject(s)
Sexual Health , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Female , Humans , Adolescent , Male , Victoria/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Erotica , Risk-Taking , Sexual Behavior , Contraceptive Agents
5.
Sex Health ; 20(2): 99-104, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2293643

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have provided evidence for the effectiveness of using doxycycline (Doxy-PEP) to prevent bacterial sexually transmissible infections (STI), namely chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis, among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men who have experienced multiple STIs. However, there remain several unanswered questions around potential adverse outcomes from Doxy-PEP, including the possibility of inducing antimicrobial resistance in STIs and other organisms, and the possibility of disrupting the microbiome of people who choose to use Doxy-PEP. This interim position statement from the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine aims to outline the current evidence for Doxy-PEP, and to highlight potential adverse outcomes, to enable clinicians to conduct evidence-based conversations with patients in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand who intend to use Doxy-PEP.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , Hepatitis, Viral, Human , Sexual Health , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Male , Humans , Doxycycline/therapeutic use , Homosexuality, Male , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Post-Exposure Prophylaxis , New Zealand , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control
6.
Sex Transm Dis ; 50(5): 304-309, 2023 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2303267

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) care management, we assessed the number of PrEP users and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing-eligible PrEP users, STI testing rates, and prevalence between prepandemic (January 1, 2018-March 31, 2020) and early-pandemic (April 1, 2020-September 30, 2020) periods. METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, a PrEP user for a given quarter is defined as either a previous PrEP user or a PrEP initiator who has at least 1-day coverage of tenofovir/emtricitabine in the given quarter. The STI testing-eligible PrEP users for a given quarter were defined as those persons whose runout date (previous dispense date + days of tenofovir/emtricitabine supply) was in the given quarter. RESULTS: The quarterly number of PrEP users increased from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2020 and then decreased in the second and third quarter of 2020. Among STI testing-eligible PrEP users who had ≤14 days between runout and next refill date, gonorrhea and chlamydia screening testing rates were 95.1% for prepandemic and 93.4% for early pandemic ( P = 0.1011). Among all STI testing-eligible PrEP users who were tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia, gonorrhea prevalence was 6.7% for prepandemic and 5.7% for early pandemic ( P = 0.3096), and chlamydia prevalence was 7.0% for prepandemic and 5.8% for early pandemic ( P = 0.2158). CONCLUSIONS: Although the early COVID-19 pandemic resulted in lower numbers of PrEP users and PrEP initiators, individuals who remained continuous users of PrEP maintained extremely high rates of bacterial STI screening. With high STI prevalence among PrEP users, assessments of PrEP care management are continuously needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gonorrhea , HIV Infections , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Male , Humans , Gonorrhea/diagnosis , Gonorrhea/epidemiology , Gonorrhea/drug therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , Homosexuality, Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Tenofovir/therapeutic use , Emtricitabine , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/methods
7.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 677, 2023 04 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302819

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Unsafe sex is one of the main morbidity and mortality risk factors associated with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in young people. Behavioral change interventions for promoting safe sex have lacked specificity and theoretical elements about behavior in their designs, which may have affected the outcomes for HIV/AIDS and STI prevention, as well as for safe sex promotion. This study offers an analysis of the barriers and facilitators that, according to the university students who participated in the focus groups, impede or promote the success of interventions promoting healthy sexuality from the perspective of the actions stakeholders should undertake. In turn, this study proposes intervention hypotheses based on the Behavior Change Wheel which appears as a useful strategy for the design of intervention campaigns. METHODS: Two focus groups were organized with students from Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH). The focus groups gathered information about the perceptions of students about sex education and health, risk behaviors in youth sexuality, and rating of HIV/AIDS and STI prevention campaigns. In the focus groups, participants were offered the possibility of presenting solutions for the main problems and limitations detected. After identifying the emerging categories related to each dimension, a COM-B analysis was performed, identifying both the barriers and facilitators of safe sex behaviors that may help orient future interventions. RESULTS: Two focus groups were organized, which comprised 20 participants with different sexual orientations. After transcription of the dialogues, a qualitative analysis was performed based on three axes: perception about sex education, risk behaviors, and evaluation of HIV/AIDS and STI prevention campaigns. These axes were classified into two groups: barriers or facilitators for safe and healthy sexuality. Finally, based on the Behavior Change Wheel and specifically on its 'intervention functions', the barriers and facilitators were integrated into a series of actions to be taken by those responsible for promotion campaigns at Universidad de Santiago. The most prevalent intervention functions are: education (to increase the understanding and self-regulation of the behavior); persuasion (to influence emotional aspects to promote changes) and training (to facilitate the acquisition of skills). These functions indicate that specific actions are necessary for these dimensions to increase the success of promotional campaigns for healthy and safe sexuality. CONCLUSIONS: The content analysis of the focus groups was based on the intervention functions of the Behavior Change Wheel. Specifically, the identification by students of barriers and facilitators for the design of strategies for promoting healthy sexuality is a useful tool, which when complemented with other analyses, may contribute improving the design and implementation of healthy sexuality campaigns among university students.


Subject(s)
Health Promotion , Safe Sex , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Adolescent , Humans , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome , Chile , Focus Groups , Health Promotion/methods , Health Risk Behaviors , Sexual Behavior/psychology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Students/psychology , Universities , Young Adult , Adult , HIV Infections/prevention & control
10.
Ann Ist Super Sanita ; 59(1): 80-92, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2253601

ABSTRACT

Kenya is home to one of the worst HIV/AIDS epidemics, with higher prevalence rates in youths in urban slums. We conducted a cross-sectional mixed-methods study in Nairobi informal settlements. The aim was to investigate knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of this marginalized community, and to identify, with a bottom-up approach, the most appropriate interventions to increase the utilization of HIV/STIs services. Preliminary qualitative research was used to draw questionnaires, which assessed: STIs/HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours; access and barriers to STIs/HIV/AIDS services; perceived quality of services; the impact of COVID-19. One thousand and fifty-four respondents completed the questionnaire. 48.3% were youth in the community, 23% youth in school, 16.8% young mothers, 6.9% drug users and 5% people attending a technical-vocational training. We found unsatisfactory knowledge of STIs/HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention, and low condom use, mainly due to difficult access, poverty, and gender-based violence. We also found limited use of health services, and lack of trust due to poor attitude of the staff. COVID-19 has widened barriers to access to health services. To reach this population, it is necessary to implement educational interventions, facilitate access to free condoms, and train health centre staff to be more welcoming. Respondents found proximity strategies more efficient, including door-to-door testing and community outreach.


Subject(s)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome , COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Adolescent , Humans , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/epidemiology , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/prevention & control , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Kenya/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Cross-Sectional Studies , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control
11.
Sex Transm Dis ; 50(8S Suppl 1): S64-S69, 2023 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2251593

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic changed the environment in which disease intervention specialists (DISs) operate, as their skills were in demand beyond sexually transmitted disease (STD) control programs. Workforce conditions generally have changed in the last 2 years, imposing additional challenges. Retaining STD DIS has become more difficult in the changed environment. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a landscape scan and obtained data from literature and personal observations to characterize current DIS workforce issues. We used published employment data to characterize current labor market conditions and described how cost-effectiveness analysis could be used to assess potential DIS retention interventions. An example illustrating cost-effectiveness concepts was developed. RESULTS: Many STD control programs faced difficulties in retaining STD DIS, because competing positions often could be done without field work. Economic and crime issues posed additional challenges. General workforce turnover has increased 33% since 2016. Turnover varies by age, sex, and education. Cost-effectiveness analysis can be used to assess DIS retention interventions, but data on costs and outcomes are needed on an ongoing basis. Changes in the workforce environment could impact both retention and the effectiveness of retention interventions. CONCLUSIONS: Workforce changes have impacted employee retention. Increased federal funding makes expansion of the DIS workforce possible, but the labor market environment will continue to pose challenges to recruitment and retention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Personnel Turnover , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Cost of Illness
12.
Trials ; 24(1): 248, 2023 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2249528

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nen UnkUmbi/EdaHiYedo ("We Are Here Now," or NE) is an intervention to prevent STIs, HIV, HCV, and teen pregnancy among Assiniboine and Sioux youth of the Fort Peck Reservation in the state of Montana in the USA. A cluster-randomized stepped-wedge design (SWD) trial is used to evaluate NE, where clusters are schools. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether there is evidence of a secular trend associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: The original study design is a cluster-randomized stepped-wedge design (SWD), in which five schools that youth from Fort Peck attend are the clusters to be randomized into the intervention one at a time, with all schools eventually being randomized to the intervention across three steps. N/E is a 5-year study involving 456 15- to 18-year-old youth. For this study, we use a mixed quantitative and qualitative methods approach to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic may have been associated with the study's primary outcome variables. Data were drawn from the first cluster exposed to the intervention and one control cluster that did not yet receive the intervention during the period in which COVID-19 mitigation efforts were being implemented. A pre-post COVID questionnaire was added to core measures administered, and semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with youths regarding their perceptions of how the pandemic altered their sexual behaviors. RESULTS: One hundred eighteen youth responded to the questionnaire and 31 youth participated in semistructured qualitative interviews. Youth reporting having sex with less people due to COVID-19 reported more sex acts (incident rate ratio (IRR)=3.6, 95% CI 1.6-8.1) in comparison to those who did not report having sex with less people, and youth who reported having sex with the same amount of people due to COVID-19 reported less sex acts (IRR=0.31, 95% CI 0.14-0.7) in comparison to those who did not report having sex with the same amount of people. Youth reporting having sex less times due to COVID-19 experienced a greater number of sex acts in comparison to those who did not report having sex less times (IRR=2.7, 1.2-6.4). Results suggest that more sexually active individuals reported perceiving having sex with less people and less frequent engagement in sex during the pandemic. It is possible that the COVID-19 pandemic period was associated with a truncation in the distribution of sexual activity that would bias an estimate of the intervention's effect. CONCLUSION: Findings suggest evidence of a secular trend. This trend must be accounted for at trial end, and sensitivity analyses are recommended. Documenting and reporting on these findings encourages transparent reporting during the implementation of a SWD trial during a global pandemic, and informs endline analyses. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial is registered with the Clinical trials registry of the US National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It was registered on October 1, 2018. The study presented in this manuscript is funded by NIH National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), Award # R01MD012761-01, Elizabeth Rink (Principal Investigator). The study's ClinicalTrials.gov number is NCT03694418.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Pregnancy , Female , Humans , Adolescent , Pandemics , Reproductive Health , Sexual Behavior , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control
13.
AIDS Patient Care STDS ; 37(4): 199-204, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2268516

ABSTRACT

HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise nationally and internationally. The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic drove a shift toward telemedicine and prioritization of symptomatic treatment over asymptomatic screening. The impact in safety-net settings, which faced disproportionate baseline STI/HIV rates rooted in structural inequities, and where many patients lack telemedicine resources, is not yet known. This study describes the impact of COVID-19 on STI/HIV testing at an urban safety-net hospital. We used descriptive statistics to compare hospital-wide chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV testing volume and positivity rates in the following periods: prepandemic (July 1, 2019-February 29, 2020), peak-pandemic (March 1, 2020-May 31, 2020), and postpeak (June 1, 2020-August 31, 2021). STI and HIV test volume dropped sharply in March 2020. STI testing during the peak-pandemic period was 42% of prepandemic baseline (mean 1145 vs. 2738 tests/month) and nadired in April 2020 (766 tests/month). Similarly, peak-pandemic HIV testing was 43% of prepandemic baseline (mean 711 vs. 1635 tests/month) and nadired in April 2020 with 438 tests/month, concentrated in emergency department and inpatient settings. STI and HIV testing rates did not return to baseline for a full year. STI and HIV test positivity rates were higher in the peak-pandemic period compared with the prepandemic baseline. Given the precipitous decline in STI and HIV testing during the pandemic, safety-net settings should develop low-barrier alternatives to traditional office-based testing to mitigate testing gaps, high positivity rates, and associated morbidity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chlamydia Infections , Gonorrhea , HIV Infections , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Syphilis , Humans , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Safety-net Providers , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Gonorrhea/diagnosis , Syphilis/diagnosis , HIV Testing , Chlamydia Infections/diagnosis , Chlamydia Infections/epidemiology , Mass Screening
14.
Sex Transm Dis ; 50(8S Suppl 1): S57-S63, 2023 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2230435

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We sought to develop a novel strategy for expanding an existing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) partner services (PS) model to provide comprehensive sexual health services, including sexually transmitted infection testing, a virtual telemedicine visit, and access to immediate start medication (antiretroviral treatment, preexposure or postexposure prophylaxis). Fast Track was a National Institutes of Health-funded implementation science trial in New York City to pilot and refine the new strategy, and examine its feasibility, acceptability, and impact. METHODS: Over the course of 1 year, health department staff collaborated with the academic research team to develop Fast Track protocols and workflows, create a cloud-based database to interview and track patients, and train disease intervention specialists to deliver the new program. The initial field-based program (Fast Track 1.0) was piloted March to December 2019. A modified telephone-based program (Fast Track 2.0) was developed in response to COVID-19 pandemic constraints and was piloted August 2020 to March 2021. RESULTS: These 2 pilots demonstrate the feasibility and acceptability of integrating comprehensive sexual health services into HIV PS programs. Disease intervention specialists were successfully trained to conduct comprehensive sexual health visits, and clients reported that the availability of comprehensive sexual health services made them more willing to engage with PS. Key lessons for scale-up include managing collaboration with a licensed provider, navigating technical and technological issues, and challenges in client engagement and retention. CONCLUSIONS: The success of this integrated strategy suggests that telehealth visits may be a critical gateway to care engagement for PS clients. This model is an innovative strategy for increasing engagement with HIV testing, prevention, and treatment for underserved populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Humans , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control
15.
Sex Transm Dis ; 50(8S Suppl 1): S53-S56, 2023 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2222915

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Disease intervention specialists are often at the forefront of adoption of new technologies in support of sexually transmitted infection (STI) contact tracing efforts. Newer technology for detection of treatable STI includes point-of-care molecular tests for detection of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas and syphilis serology point-of-care tests. Other additions to our case finding toolbox are the use of telemedicine and the proliferation of direct-to-consumer offerings, both of which rely on remote sample collection involving self-collection of specimens in nonclinical settings. Finally, on the near horizon are over-the-counter tests that will support self-testing without the involvement of a medical professional. Each of these new developments is discussed and contextualized in experiences resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic response. Many options are now available, or will be soon, for detection of STIs in nontraditional settings, and we need to consider the processes involved as we move toward adoption of these new tools.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chlamydia Infections , Gonorrhea , HIV Infections , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Syphilis , Humans , Pandemics , Chlamydia Infections/diagnosis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Gonorrhea/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Syphilis/epidemiology
16.
Curr Opin Infect Dis ; 36(1): 26-34, 2023 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2152277

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review summarizes recently published research on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Asia, covering four main areas: prevalence and consequences of STIs/STDs, factors associated with STI risk, strategies and measures of STI prevention, challenges in the prevention of SITs. RECENT FINDINGS: Studies show that STIs among Asian MSM are still prevalent, with the prevalence of STIs varying slightly from country to country. In addition to the number of sexual partners, frequency of condom use, high-risk sexual behaviors, the influence of Confucianism, law, and COVID-19 are also related to STI risk. Social stigma, weak health systems, lack of funding and policy support are the current challenges for STIs prevention. SUMMARY: In the future, new media technologies are encouraged to be used to enhance education and reduce stigma and discrimination against MSM and STIs. Expanding STI screening, strengthening STI knowledge propaganda and education among MSM population, and providing necessary counseling and medical services are main strategies in STI prevention. It is also important to strengthen STI awareness and policy support at the national level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Male , Humans , Homosexuality, Male/psychology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Sexual Behavior/psychology , Asia/epidemiology
17.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr ; 91(2): 138-143, 2022 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2078001

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Black and Hispanic/Latino sexual minority men and gender diverse (SMMGD) individuals report lower uptake and adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) compared with White SMMGD. For some, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in reduced access to PrEP prescriptions and related changes to PrEP use, yet little is known how pandemic-related changes to PrEP access and sexual activity might influence sexually transmitted infection (STI) status and HIV seroconversion among SMMGD of color. We used data from 4 waves of a national study of Black and Hispanic/Latino SMMGD's HIV, PrEP, and health experiences to assess whether self-reported changes to sexual activity were associated with STI status, and whether self-reported changes to PrEP access were associated with HIV seroconversion. Those who reported greater impact to their sexual activity during the pandemic [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.24; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.10 to 1.40] and a greater number of sexual partners (aOR = 1.29; 95% CI: 1.21 to 1.38) were more likely to report a positive STI test. In addition, we found that compared with those who did not report pandemic-related changes to PrEP access, those who did report changes to PrEP access had significantly higher odds of HIV seroconversion during the study period (aOR = 2.80; 95% CI: 1.02 to 7.68). These findings have implications for HIV and STI prevention and highlight the importance of novel interventions to improve PrEP access among Black and Hispanic/Latino SMMGD. Importantly, these findings also demonstrate the need to stay focused on key populations at risk of HIV infection during emerging public health crises to avoid an increase in rates of new diagnoses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , HIV Seropositivity , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control
18.
Sex Transm Dis ; 49(11S Suppl 2): S26-S30, 2022 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2063096

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Long before the SARS-CoV-2 (hereafter COVID-19) pandemic, sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention and control was underresourced in the United States, leading to large and sustained increases in reportable STIs and harmful sequelae of these infections. The abrupt disruption associated with the national shutdown of many public services in early 2020 forced STI clinics and programs to rapidly adopt new models of care, including the greatly increased use of telehealth services. Federal policy makers took actions to relax many requirements in Medicare and other programs that previously impeded the use of telehealth. Numerous states also adopted emergency policies to facilitate the delivery of telehealth services through Medicaid, many of which are related to payment for services. It is unresolved whether and which policies will or should be extended after the public health emergency. How these services are financed and reimbursed underpins the ability to effectively prevent and treat STIs and improve public health. Ultimately, payment systems need to support the solvency and stability of sexual health clinics and other health care services organizations in ways that support providers and that also improve patient satisfaction and retention in care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state/local health departments have important roles to play in supporting the dialogue needed to create new payment models and facilitate communication and technical assistance across public health and insurance systems. Sexual health providers must be engaged in iterative processes that continue to evolve and can be evaluated over time.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Telemedicine , Aged , Humans , Medicare , Policy , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , United States/epidemiology
19.
Euro Surveill ; 27(39)2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2054866

ABSTRACT

BackgroundDiagnoses of bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have increased in France since the 2000s. The main strategy to control STI transmission is recommending/facilitating access to condom use, testing, and antibiotic treatments.AimThis study analyses the evolution of STI testing in the private sector in France from 2006 to 2020.MethodsNational health insurance reimbursement data were used to determine numbers and rates of individuals aged ≥ 15 years tested for diagnoses of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis in the private sector in France and to describe their evolution from 2006 to 2020.ResultsUpward tendencies in testing were observed from 2006 to 2019 for all three STIs. The highest testing rates were identified in people aged 25‒29-years old. The observed testing-increase from 2017 to 2019 was twice as high in young people (< 25 years old) as in older people. In 2019, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis testing rates were respectively 45.4 (+ 21% since 2017), 41.3 (+ 60%), and 47.2 (+ 22%) per 1,000 inhabitants. For all STIs combined, the number of tested individuals decreased by 37% between March and April 2020 during the first COVID-19 epidemic wave and lockdown in France.ConclusionImprovements found in STI testing rates may have resulted from better awareness, especially among young people and health professionals, of the importance of testing, following prevention campaigns. Nevertheless, testing levels remain insufficient considering increasing diagnoses. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a considerable impact on STI testing. Partner notification and offering diverse testing opportunities including self-sampling are essential to control STI epidemics particularly in exposed populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chlamydia Infections , Gonorrhea , HIV Infections , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Syphilis , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Anti-Bacterial Agents , Chlamydia Infections/diagnosis , Chlamydia Infections/epidemiology , Chlamydia Infections/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Delivery of Health Care , Gonorrhea/diagnosis , Gonorrhea/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Syphilis/epidemiology
20.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(10)2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2053202

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted health systems globally and widened preexisting disparities. We conducted a scoping review on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls' access to and utilisation of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for contraception, abortion, gender-based and intimate partner violence (GBV/IPV) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). METHODS: We systematically searched peer reviewed literature and quantitative reports, published between December 2019 and July 2021, focused on women and girls' (15-49 years old) access to and utilisation of selected SRH services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Included studies were grouped based on setting, SRH service area, study design, population and reported impact. Qualitative data were coded, organised thematically and grouped by major findings. RESULTS: We included 83 of 3067 identified studies and found that access to contraception, in-person safe abortion services, in-person services for GBV/IPV and STI/HIV testing, prevention and treatment decreased. The geographical distribution of this body of research was uneven and significantly less representative of countries where COVID-19 restrictions were very strict. Access was limited by demand and supply side barriers including transportation disruptions, financial hardships, limited resources and legal restrictions. Few studies focused on marginalised groups with distinct SRH needs. CONCLUSION: Reports indicated negative impacts on access to and utilisation of SRH services globally, especially for marginalised populations during the pandemic. Our findings call for strengthening of health systems preparedness and resilience to safeguard global access to essential SRH services in ongoing and future emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Reproductive Health Services , Sexual Health , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Adolescent , Adult , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Reproductive Health , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Young Adult
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