October 16, 2023
AVAC’s STIWatch newsletter is a curated resource on the latest in STI vaccines, diagnostics, and other prevention tools and strategies.
STIs and HIV are commonly linked and impact similar priority populations including young people, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, and those living with HIV. To end the AIDS epidemic, there is great need to better prevent, detect, and treat STIs as having an STI can make it easier to get HIV. However, STI research and development lags behind HIV efforts, highlighting a need for new options and programs to better address both epidemics.
In 2022, AVAC launched an STI advocacy program to mobilize advocates to accelerate the development and equitable implementation of new STI vaccines, diagnostics, and other prevention options. Through this quarterly newsletter, we hope to share valuable information that sparks advocacy for a robust pipeline of interventions for STI prevention.
Visit STIwatch.org, AVAC’s updated and expanded online resource to understand and advocate for research, development and rollout of STI vaccines and diagnostics. This site features updates on the status of vaccines and diagnostics for curable STIs including:
- Information on chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and more.
- An STI clinical trials dashboard that provides information about trials focused on STI vaccines, diagnostics, and DoxyPEP.
- Updated graphics on the state of STI vaccines and diagnostic development.
STI Advocacy Updates
To understand the needs and evolving landscape around STI vaccines, diagnostics, and advocacy, AVAC awarded seven teams funding to conduct projects in South and Eastern Africa. Congratulations to Nyanza Reproductive Health Society in Kenya, Lesotho Network of AIDS Service Organizations in Lesotho, JournAIDS in Malawi, HIV Survivors and Partners Network in South Africa, ACTS 101 in Uganda, Latu Human Rights Foundation in Zambia, and Pangaea Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe.
These projects will help shed light on community needs and perceptions around STI advocacy; better understand issues and opportunities related to local STI vaccine and diagnostic research and development and identify areas to improve STI prevention efforts. Read more about the grantees and their landscaping work and join the webinar below.
What We’re Reading
- JournAIDS calls for increased focus on STIs in Malawi. JournAIDS Program Manager, Dingani Mithi, recently spoke about results from an STI landscaping report that identified challenges and opportunities to improve STI prevention in Malawi. As STIs can increase HIV transmission, Mithi discussed the need for increased STI screening, treatment, and education programs to reduce HIV burden.
- ASHM’s 2023 consensus statement on doxycycline prophylaxis (DoxyPEP). ASHM provides DoxyPEP recommendations for community and clinicians along with recommendations for research, guidelines, and policy. These recommendations are intended for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in Australia to prevent syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Using DoxyPEP for a pre-defined period, continuing to promote STI screening, and the need for additional molecular tests to monitor AMR are all discussed within this guide.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Request for Comment on Guidelines for the Use of Doxycycline Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for Bacterial STIs. The CDC is requesting comments on recently released draft guidance on the use of DoxyPEP to prevent chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis infections among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, and transgender women. This is an opportunity for advocates to provide feedback on guidelines that will shape clinical practices. Comments are being accepted through November 16, 2023 so share your thoughts today!