Only 2 months to go to our first face to face IUSTI World Congress since 2019!
Plans for the 23rd World IUSTI Congress, on 4th- 7th September 2022, at the Elephant Hills Resort, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, are well advanced. Many of you have already registered for the congress and for those of you who are still considering attending - please do! We would love to see you again.
However, if you are not able to travel at this time, or if you still don’t feel ready for international travel as yet, the congress will be a hybrid meeting and you will still be able to access the congress virtually. Registration and accommodation booking are available on https://www.iusti2022zimbabwe.com/
You can also view the exciting Congress Programme on the website. The Opening and Closing Keynote addresses are being given by Meg Doherty, from the World Health Organisation, and David Mabey, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, respectively. There are Plenary Sessions on the topics of ‘STIs in key and vulnerable populations’; ‘Understanding STIs: from basic biology to prevention’; ‘New diagnostics and therapeutics for STIs’; ‘Addressing inequalities to STI care’; and ‘Advances in STI vaccines and prevention’. There are also two debates on ‘Rapid diagnostic testing for STIs will
make syndromic management a thing of the past’, and ‘Mathematical models are useless in predicting antimicrobial resistance in STIs’.
IUSTI-Europe, with IUSTI-World and WHO, has organised a pre-congress training course titled ‘Diagnosis and Management of STIs: from best practice to practical availability’. It is being held on Sunday 4th September and is free of charge to people who are registered for the congress.
Our Regional Director for the Africa/MENA Region, Francis Ndowa, is the Congress President. Jo- Anne Dillon, the IUSTI President-Elect, and Dr Remco Peters, the IUSTI Assistant Secretary, are the Co-Chairs of the Scientific Committee. My thanks go to them, and all the other people, who have ensured that this congress is going to be a great success.
23rd World IUSTI Congress, 4th-7th September 2022, at the Elephant Hills Resort, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
WHO relations and the IUSTI responses at the World Health General Assembly
The 75th World Health Assembly was held in May 2022. Again, IUSTI was able to submit a written statement and we made this in response to: Pillar 1 - 5 statements: Sub-items 14.2. The global health sector strategies on, respectively, HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections
Below is the statement submitted, which went onto the WHO website:
The International Union against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI) is fully supportive of the World Health Organisation’s Global Health Sector Strategies on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections 2022-2030. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have always lacked the visibility and profile of HIV and viral hepatitis and, sadly, STI clinical and prevention services are even more neglected now than before the COVID-19 pandemic. This contrast in the lack of progress in eliminating STIs compared with successes in HIV and viral hepatitis is highlighted in the strategies. Reinvesting in STI services and rebuilding them should be a high public health priority.
Integration of STI services with HIV and hepatitis will offer leverage of funding and improve integration of services at all levels. There are commonalities of prevention services of HIV, hepatitis and STIs in high risk and marginalised groups, for example LGBTQ+ people, sex workers, young people, immigrants and asylum seekers.
At the societal level, people living with these infections experience stigma. The approaches to tackling stigma will apply equally to them all. Confronting and tackling stigma in STIs, HIV and hepatitis remains critical. Without this people will always be reluctant to access these services.
Key priorities specific to the control and management of STIs are:
The introduction of quality assured, rapid, point of care, or low cost, STI diagnostic technology. Lack of these tests results in STI care delivery using syndromic management. Syndromic management does not detect asymptomatic STIs so does not prevent their complications and transmission. Syndromic management also results in the overuse of antibiotics due to its poor positive predictive value.
Investing in contact tracing/partner notification as this is an essential component in the identification of undiagnosed infections and hence infection control.
Increasing the monitoring of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of bacterial STIs. Although surveillance for STI AMR has increased, there are still large geographical areas without this. AMR is a global health threat which results in misuse, and overuse, of antimicrobials. The cost of STI AMR to all national economies, and their health systems, is significant as it delays disease resolution, increases complications, and requires more expensive treatments.
All of these issues are included in the WHO’s Global Health Sector Strategies on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections 2022-2030.’
The World Health Assembly approved the implementation of the new Global Health Sector Strategies on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections for the period 2022-2030. The new strategies propose a common vision to end epidemics by 2030 and advance universal health coverage, primary health care, and health security in a world where all people will have access to high-quality, evidence-based and people-centred health services. The strategies are available on:
https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/default-source/hq- hiv-hepatitis-and-stis-library/full-final-who-ghss-hiv- vh-sti_1-june2022.pdf?sfvrsn=7c074b36_13
The 2022 Monkeypox virus (MPXV) outbreak
You will all be aware of the on-going outbreak of MPXV infection which was recognised in May 2022 with a cluster of cases identified in London. Since then cases have been reported from an increasing number of countries around the world. By the end of June, 5,928 cases had been confirmed worldwide with Spain, the UK and Germany all having over 1000 confirmed cases. Most cases have been in men who have sex with men (MSM), probably as a result of coincidental introduction into the MSM community. Transmission is likely occurring due to close skin to skin contact during sex (as we see with scabies and molluscum contagiosum) rather than the virus itself becoming sexually transmitted.
The outbreak has already caused stigmatisation of LGBTQ+ groups and of people from Africa. It is essential that our sexual health services lead by example to combat this stigmatisation and ensure that people with symptoms know that sexual health clinics are a safe and welcoming place for them to seek help.
WHO is working with partners and experts from around the world to change the name of MPXV, and the disease it causes, in order to combat the stigma and racism surrounding it.
IUSTI Centenary Celebrations planned for 2023
IUSTI will be 100 years old in 2023, having been founded in 1923. We are of course planning to celebrate this wonderful achievement throughout 2023. We have set up an IUSTI Centenary Committee which is tasked with collecting details of the past IUSTI Presidents, including photos if possible; details of where the IUSTI World Congresses were held, again including photos if possible; and photos of old IUSTI documents (e.g. Executive Committee Meeting minutes) to see what the current issues were throughout the years. We plan to produce photo collages and video clips with these materials that can be shown at conferences throughout the year, and on the website.
Jackie Sherrard, the IUSTI Membership Secretary, has kindly agreed to Chair the Centenary Committee. If you have any of the above things, particularly if they are prior to the mid-2000s, please contact Jackie on firstname.lastname@example.org as she will be delighted to receive them.
And finally ......
After 3 years of not being able to meet you all in person .... I look forward to seeing you all again in September in Victoria Falls!
Janet Wilson, IUSTI-World President
Sexually Transmitted Infections is the world's longest running international journal on sexual health. The journal releases regular podcasts which aims to keep practitioners, trainees and researchers up to date in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all STIs and HIV.
Mycoplasma Genitalium: Easy to detect, hard to treat - In this conversation with Dr Fabiola Martin, STI's Podcast editor, Dr Emma Sweeney, Prof Catriona Bradshaw and Prof Nicola Low provide a clinical and research update on the bacterial genitourinary pathogen Mycoplasma genitalium (MGEN). We have known this pathogen for a long- time but only in recent years have we been testing and treating more frequently. Read the related blog post here.
NATSAL-COVID: Britain's National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles - Professor Cath Mercer and Professor Nigel Field join us to discuss the results of NATSAL and NATSAL COVID, Britain’s National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles. NATSAL has been undertaken every 10 years since 1990 and is a key data source for sexual and reproductive health policy development. However, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of sexual lifestyles, prompting the initiation of the NATSAL-COVID study with the aim of understanding the impact of COVID-19 on sexual behaviour and service use. Read the related blog post here
STI podcasts are free to access and available on all major podcast platforms including Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.
23rd IUSTI World Congress 2022 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Preparations for the 23rd IUSTI World Congress scheduled to take place from 4 to 7 September 2022 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, are at an advanced stage with all the speakers for the 5 plenaries confirmed to attend in person and 7 abstract-driven symposia well formulated.
Unless some other global catastrophe takes place between now and September, plans are well in place to hold the conference as an in-person conference, but with provision for virtual attendance for those who cannot travel for reasons of persisting Covid-19 regulations in their respective countries or other reasons.
The venue for the conference is the Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls. The conference venue has 8 meeting rooms with a total capacity of 830 people. It has 276 guest rooms. Free Wi-Fi to hotel residents is available. Additional accommodation, if required, will be at the Kingdom Hotel. There will be complimentary shuttle buses for transfers from hotel to hotel and to certain tourist attractions, such as the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River.
The Welcome and Opening Ceremony is scheduled for the late afternoon of Sunday 4th September and the Closing Ceremony will be at mid-day on Wednesday 7 September. The Congress Gala Dinner is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday 6 September, at the Boma Restaurant.
Theme of the Congress
The Theme of the Congress is “Confronting inequities in STI prevention, diagnostics and care”. This theme was crafted to cover issues of lack of accessible diagnostics, lack of appropriate antimicrobials, lack of appropriately trained health- care providers, inequities due to stigma and
marginalisation being experienced, especially in Africa, but also in Asia and Latin America and other resource-constrained settings.
Congress planning teams
The International Organising Committee includes Dr Francis Ndowa, Dr Janet Wilson, Professor Jo- Anne Dillon and all the committee members of the IUSTI Africa-MENA region. The Scientific Committee is chaired by Professor Jo-Anne Dillon and the Co-chairperson is Professor Remco Peters. The Track Chairpersons and track members were listed in the previous newsletter and can be viewed on the conference website, https://www.iusti2022zimbabwe.com/international-scientific-committee/.
Speakers for the Congress
An impressive list of renowned global, regional and local speakers will be attending in person to cover various issues, such as STIs and access to prevention and care among key populations and other vulnerable populations, Addressing inequalities to STI care, Understanding STIs: from basic biology to prevention and Advances in STI vaccines and prevention, among other exciting topics. The list of these eminent speakers include Dr Meg Doherty from the World Health Organisation in Geneva, Professor David Mabey from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor Linda Gail-Bekker of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation in South Africa, Professor Henry de Vries the Amsterdam UMC and the Public Health Service (GGD Amsterdam) and is expert at the Dutch Institute for Public Health (RIVM) and Professor Kate Seib, a Research Leader and the Associate Director (Research) at the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Australia – the full list of speakers can be seen on the website, https://www.iusti2022zimbabwe.com/plenary-speakers/
A travel agent, Infinite Destinations Travel, based in Harare, Zimbabwe, has been retained as an affiliate to facilitate local travel services from the airport to the hotels and back, as well as from hotel to hotel within Victoria Falls city.
Laboratory facilities for Covid-19 testing are available in Victoria Falls with capacity to conduct Covid-19 PCR tests that can be made available within 2 to 6 hours.
The Victoria Falls airport serves as the international airport and a number of airlines fly into Victoria Falls. Alternatively, delegates can fly into Harare and connect to domestic airlines to Victoria Falls. An updated schedule of flights is shown below.
We are ready and looking forward to welcoming IUSTI members and other scientists to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Dr. Claudia Heller-Vitouch – Regional Director of IUSTI-Europe
Dr. Claudia Heller-Vitouch
Not only the pandemic but also the terrible war in Ukraine has influenced personal, political and academic life in Europe. Nevertheless, IUSTI- Europe tried to fulfil its responsibilities towards its members and to keep active as before. This is only possible with an enthusiastic team. Zoom meetings of the officers are held at least every two weeks and in between the work continues. Thank you to all at this point, you are doing an incredibly great job!
It has been decided to hold the 35th IUSTI-Europe meeting September 29 – October 1 2022 in Tbilisi in hybrid format. An IUSTI-Europe STI- course will be held in conjunction. Please visit the congress webpage www.iusti-europe2022.org and promote the conference in your countries. The local organising team together with the scientific committee are working hard to providing an unforgettable event.
The IUSTI-Europe Congress in 2023 will take place in Malta, with Dr Valeska Padovese as Congress President. Preparations have already started and we look forward to an outstanding conference there.
Moreover, the Council Members of IUSTI-Europe have made their decisions concerning the IUSTI- Europe conferences in the years to come. We are very privileged to having received so many high-quality bids.
It is our utmost pleasure to inform you that the bids below have been approved:
- 2024 Croatia: Mihael Skerlev (Zagreb or Dubrovnik)
- 2025 Greece: Electra Nicolaidou (Athens)
- 2026 Czech Republic: Jana Hercogova (Prague) 2027 Portugal: Carmen Lisboa (Porto)
Sincere congratulations to the successful bidders! It is an acknowledgement of their continuous and valuable work in the field of STIs and HIV and recognition of their support for the activities of IUSTI-Europe over several decades. The officers are looking forward with confidence to a close and fruitful co-operation with the new conference presidents.
Keith Radcliffe has informed us earlier this year that after 20 years of extremely successful work he has decided to step down from his position as the Editor-in-chief of the IUSTI-Europe guidelines group. IUSTI-Europe would like to express our deepest thanks to Keith for establishing the guidelines as one of IUSTI-Europe ́s backbones. It is known that the guidelines have had a considerable impact on clinical practice in Europe and feedback indicates that clinicians are very appreciative of them. Data from the journals in which they are published shows that they are consistently among their most read and cited articles. Keith will stay on our Council as Senior Counsellor and we are happy that he has agreed to stay on our side with his tremendous knowledge and experience.
IUSTI-Europe is delighted to inform you that Jackie Sherrard is the new Editor in Chief of the European STI Guidelines Project. Jackie has been a member of the Guidelines Editorial Board for more than 12 years during which time she has performed all her responsibilities with the utmost efficiency and reliability - as both an editor and author of guidelines but also as the group ́s webmaster and as the author of many pieces of patient information. Jackie will do an excellent job and, with the support of the Guidelines group, the
Project will continue to be a very valuable resource for clinicians and patients across Europe.
We look forward to an excellent co-operation!
Prof. George-Sorin Tiplica – Chair of IUSTI- Europe Council
Prof. George-Sorin Tiplica
The European branch of IUSTI experienced a dynamic life in the last six months. Our medical community was shocked by the war in Ukraine and a declaration expressing our deep concerns and hopes for peace was issued in the very first days of the conflict (see document: https://www.iusti- europe.eu/web/images/docs/IUSTI- Europe_statement-on-the-conflict-in- Ukraine_270222.pdf).
The COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions and the monkey pox outbreak were other problems that we faced and tried to overcome with our activities. IUSTI-Europe continued the Webinar series which attracts large numbers of participants every month. We are greatly supported in this endeavour by our colleagues from the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH). We were glad to continue the excellent relations established during the BASHH Presidency of Dr John McSorley with the current BASHH President Dr Claire Dewsnap.
The dedicated IUSTI-Europe webpage (www.iusti- europe.eu) is constantly up-dated and all those interested can access the previous webinar presentations.
We are keeping a close connection with the Webmaster of IUSTI World webpage - Prof Christopher Fairley and with Mark Chung to smoothly disseminate interesting news. Council members are committed to the permanent improvement of the healthcare system across Europe, and we are working together to add more consistency to our recommendations. In order to implement the STI European Guidelines recommendations in practice, we issued a first statement addressing the lack of spectinomycin on the market (see document https://www.iusti- europe.eu/web/images/docs/IUSTI-EU_Statement- on-Spectinomycin-Nov2021.pdf). As would be expected, there is a permanent contact between the IUSTI-Europe leaders with frequent virtual meetings organised.
Dr. Derek Freedman - Chair for Scientific Policy
Dr. Derek Freedman
The Chair for Scientific Policy has worked to advise on the Scientific Programmes of IUSTI-EU Congresses, and to coordinate the programmes to ensure that repetition is minimalised, and that the Congress programme is representative of the needs of the hosting region; reflects current scientific thinking; and that speakers of expertise are chosen. Out of this, and together with Professor George-Sorin Tiplica, IUSTI Europe Council Chair, the concept of the IUSTI-Eu Webinars was born, and is reported on separately.
To date, the work on Scientific Policy has been inhibited by the lack of a suitable time in the Congress timetable to bring together the personnel that would be required for a working group. The composition of the Guideline Committee parallels what is required for Scientific Policy, and a case could be made for the two to work in close co- operation.
At present, as Chair for Scientific Policy, Dr Derek Freedman has been working closely with the Chair and Co-Chairs of the International Scientific Committee for the 35th IUSTI Europe Congress Tbilisi 2022 to formulate a Programme that will bring the latest and most relevant information and reflect the needs of the region.
Prof Henry de Vries has been appointed to the new position of Co-Chair of Scientific Policy. Our aim is to continue to invigorate and refresh IUSTI-E
Scientific Policy, give direction to research and investigation of the many challenges that face the management of STI’s in Europe and beyond.
Prof. Henry de Vries
The 35th IUSTI Europe Congress is scheduled for September 29th – October 1st 2022 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Some of the usual pre-Congress preparations have been frustrated by the CoVid-19 Pandemic, and the planned site visit in October 2021 had to become a virtual one. In the meantime, Congress President Prof Dr Josephe Kobakhidze and Congress Secretary Prof Dr Oleg Kvlividze have proceeded with the organisation, setting up the Congress Website, https://iusti-europe2022.org, and appointed BTL Georgia as PCO. It has been decided to hold the conference in hybrid format. An IUSTI-Europe STI-course will be held in conjunction.
Registration and abstract submission are open. It is possible to attend F2F, or virtually. The Scientific programme is really exciting and pertinent. https://iusti-europe2022.org/program/scientific- program.html
The IUSTI-E Congress in 2023 will take place in Malta, with Dr Valeska Padovese as Congress President. A site visit took place in November 2021, with Dr Derek Freedman on site, and Dr Claudia Heller-Vitouch and Professor Georg Sorin Tiplica attending virtually. A number of hotel and conference venues were visited and The Excelsior Hotel Valetta was deemed to be the most suitable, due to its excellent position at the entrance to the city of Valetta, and the appropriateness of its space and layout for our Congress.
IUSTI-E aims to appoint Congress Venues at least two years ahead, and Expressions of Interest were invited from Council members in Autumn 2021 for 2024 and 2025. Expressions of Interest were received from four members, representing a geographic diversity and they were each invited to submit a Formal Congress Bid using the IUSTI-EU Congress Tender Document. These bids were assessed by the IUSTI-EU Officers, and approved by vote of Council.
Dr. Joseph Kobakhidze - IUSTI National Representative (Georgia), 35th IUSTI-EU Congress Co-President
Dr. Joseph Kobakhidze
IUSTI-EU CONGRESS: COMEBACK IN-PERSON FORMAT AFTER A LONG PAUSE
So, only two months left until the starting of the of the 35th IUSTI-E Congress (www.iusti-europe2022.org), the main event of the decade for all medical professionals working or going to work in the STI field in Georgia and neighbour countries (Armenia and Azerbaijan).
As a representative of the country hosting the 35th IUSTI-EU Congress, I had the challenging task of organising the event at such a difficult time when the Covid-19 pandemic dictates its own rules of the game.
It has been decided to hold the conference in hybrid format. We have before us a great example of Romania, which was the first of the IUSTI-EU meeting organising countries to face the problems associated with the pandemic, and with great honour came out of this difficult situation by holding a wonderful Congress. Then there was the Netherlands, Dutch team also overcame all COVID-19 difficulties by carrying out a very good event. Following the example of Romania and the Netherlands, we will make every effort to ensure that IUSTI-EU in Georgia is held at the highest organisational and scientific level, and we will try to show our country to all the delegates who come, so that they would have a desire to come to us again and again.
In 2010 Georgia already hosted the IUSTI-EU Congress. Hope many of you remember 25th IUSTI-EU in Tbilisi. According to the participants, it was a really successful event. This means that in 2022 we must hold an even more successful
meeting, taking into account all the mistakes (it never happens without them) made by us 12 years ago. Already now we are working on renewal of all international professional relationships that we had before COVID-19 pandemic and actively looking for new ones. As a country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, we count on the presence of colleagues from both continents.
In order to promote our event and attract participants from the countries of our region, as well as a number of countries of the post-Soviet space, we have held a series of meetings (within the framework of conferences, seminars, business visits) with our colleagues from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Uzbekistan. The circle of such communication will constantly expand. We are very pleased with the great interest shown by our colleagues in the Congress in Georgia, as a result of which we can already count on their support today.
From 2021 I have a great honour to represent my country in the EADV Board. Considering my position as the IUSTI national representative I guess that this is a good chance to bring the interests of these two organizations even closer and to attract many members of EADV to participate in our Congress.
Naturally, we do not forget about the propaganda of the 35th IUSTI-EU within the country, among the large national community of urologists, gynaecologists, family doctors and others. Not one of my or my like-minded colleagues' participation in TV or radio is complete without information about the Congress. Such active promotion is already bearing fruit, judging by the questions related to the future event, which I receive almost daily from my colleagues.
In conclusion, we'd be happy to mention the continuous and very effective support of our colleagues, old and new friends, representing the International Organizing Committee: Dr. Claudia Heller-Vitouch, Prof. George-Sorin Tiplica, Dr. Derek Freedman, Dr. Airi Põder, Prof. Mihael Skerlev, Prof. Mikhail Gomberg, Ass.Prof. Eija Hiltunen-Back and some others. And, of course, we rightly look forward to a very interesting scientific program developed under the guidance of the International Scientific Committee Chair Prof. Arne Wikström and Co-Chairs Prof. Magnus Unemo and Dr. Valeska Padovese. Hope very much to see all of you in Tbilisi in the Fall of 2022 in-person.
Dr Derek Freedman and Prof. George-Sorin Tiplica - Webinar Editors and Coordinators
The IUSTI-Europe Webinar series has proved to be a successful medium to disseminate STI information and practice throughout Europe, and beyond. To date, eleven webinars have taken place. We have 2000 cumulative registrants over the series, from over 60 countries. We feel this is a worthwhile use of IUSTI resources, and useful to promote good practice and knowledge. The series continued on the last Wednesday of each month, until the end of May 2022, and hopefully will renew in September 2022-23.
The initial series of four webinars covered the “Impact of the CoVid-19 in Europe- Epidemiology and Services”, “Chronic Viral STI’s - How to ease the Psychological Burden”, “The 2021 CDC STI Guidelines” and “N. gonorrhoeae and M. genitalium – Treatment Challenges”. The autumn series started with “Coming out of CoVid- What have we learnt, how will we face the future”; continued with “PrEP – the Next Decade”, and this year we have had a webinar on “Unfolding the secrets of Treponema pallidum” in January and “Vaginitis and Balanitis” in February. The topic of the March Webinar was changed into “Insights into STIs and Skin Care in Refugees”, in April the focus was on “Stressed Patients and Stressful Consultations”. Another hot topic was covered in May: “Steps Forward - 2022 | The Monkeypox Threat”.
Many thanks to all the contributors and speakers for our webinars who gave their time freely and without charge, including those from outside IUSTI Europe.
The webinars are available on the IUSTI-E Website: https://www.iusti-europe.eu/web/
Topics suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Please e-mail these to Dr. Derek Freedman.
Prof. Angelika Stary and Prof. Marco Cusini - Chairs for Education
The Chairs for Education are making the arrangements for a Master course for IUSTI- Europe in Tbilisi with the occasion of the 35th IUSTI-Europe Congress. This will be a one-day virtual course just before the opening of the Congress. We are making all efforts to get a successful event as the last one organised in Tallinn in 2019. We are working on an interesting programme, which should be of scientific and practical interest.
In addition, we will organise an advanced IUSTI Europe Course at the IUSTI World Conference in Zimbabwe with the title Diagnosis and Management of STIs: from best practice to practical availability. This course is planned face to face and will be organised in cooperation with IUSTI World (Janet Wilson and Jo-Ann Dillon) and the WHO at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe on Sunday, September 4, 2022. We are happy that Teodora Wi from WHO will join for the last session and address the topic: “What’s the evidence and what’s new? WHO Guidelines on the Management of Symptomatic STIs in resource-constrained settings”. The course will be offered to all participants of the IUSTI World Conference free of charge.
In case there are European participants at the conference, they are very welcome to participate and discuss with us different topics on STIs.
The last course was held in 2019 in Tallinn. With the enormous support from the local organiser Airi Poder and her team it was a very successful course with many participants.
AIDS/STD Knowledge Popularisation Campus Tour in Kunming, Yunan, China
Yunnan is the first recorded HIV-endemic province in China, and the epidemic is widespread throughout the country. Studies indicate that the main transmission pattern shifted from intravenous drug use to sexual behaviours, with 97% of AIDS patients in China infected through sexual transmission. In addition, the susceptible group has also changed, from drug users initially to sex workers, and then to the general population.
Nowadays, HIV is spreading rapidly among young students in campus, especially in professional and technical colleges, which have gradually become of greater importance and requiring attention. The AIDS/STD knowledge popularisation campus tour has been held annually for the past 5 years aiming to increase relevant AIDS/STD knowledge among students. This was launched by professor Li Yuye, the director of the Department of Dermatology and Venereal Diseases Department of the First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, and Chief Physician Dong Tianxiang in 2019.
During December 2021, professor Li and doctor Dong went to the campus at several colleges and universities, such as Kunming City College, Kunming Metallurgy College and Kunming University of Science, to give lectures on "Away from AIDS/STD to Embrace a Splendid Life". The lectures attracted more than 2100 students’ participation. In the lectures, real world AIDS/STD clinical cases, including skin and mucosal lesions, diagnosis, prevention and treatment strategy were introduced to students, helping them identify skin and mucosal lesions correctly, and seek medical advice and treatment early. After the lecture, many students joined the volunteer organisations which prevent AIDS/STD and share their knowledge with families and friends.
In the past five years, professor Li and doctor Dong gave lectures more than 40 times, aiming to let young students in campus realise the prevalence of the AIDS/STD, understand the risk of AIDS/STD to themselves, their families and the society, increase vigilance for early clinical clues, establish a sense of responsibility and contribute to the creation of a healthy campus and a harmonious society.
Nearly 10000 students participated in the past 5 years. Feedback we received from students showed that lack of relevant knowledge is an important reason for the spread of AIDS/STD among young students. As such, it is important to popularise relevant knowledge to students. The activity will continue to be held annually, aiming to expand AIDS/STD knowledge in college students and improve the status of AIDS/STD prevention and treatment in Yunnan.
Li Yuye & Pingyu Zhou
From the American STD Association (ASTDA)
The ASTDA successfully launched a Summer Fellowship Program during summer 2022 for 10 fellows (trainees). The goal is to promote enthusiasm for the STI field by trainees with broad STI-related interests (e.g. research, clinical work, public health, policy, etc.) Each fellow received a $5000 stipend and each of their mentors received a $2000 stipend. The fellows, their mentors, and information about their projects can be found on the ASTDA website.
The 5th annual ASTDA Multisector Diagnostics Workshop was held in San Francisco in February, 2022. Representatives from NIH, FDA, CDC, industry, academia, public health and a dozen young investigators actively participated in discussions held over two days. A summary of the 4th annual workshop was recently published in Sexually Transmitted Diseases and may be downloaded free of charge.
The ASTDA website now includes a tab dedicated to IUSTI- North America. The website provides an overview of the relationship between IUSTI-NA and IUSTI- Canada and information about upcoming IUSTI-related events.
ASTDA has taken over the management of the Jack N Spencer Award from the CDC. The Jack N. Spencer Award is presented to a person with a long and extraordinary career in sexually transmitted diseases prevention characterised primarily by outstanding commitment to program science. The 2022 Spencer Award along with the ASTDA Distinguished Career Award, the ASTDA Achievement Award, and the ASTDA Young Investigator Award will be announced at the 2022 CDC STD Prevention Conference in September.
ASTDA has increased funding for the Small Projects Assistance Fund. The goal of the fund is to provide up to $5000 to young investigators for projects related to STIs. So far, 3 investigators have received funding; information about their projects is summarised on the ASTDA website. The deadline for the next cycle is July 1st.
- ASTDA has provided $10,000 to fund scholarships for the 23rd IUSTI World Congress in Zimbabwe.
- ASTDA/IUSTI-North America will host the STI & HIV 2023 World Congress, to be held in Chicago, Illinois, on July 24-27, 2023 in conjunction with the National Sexual Health Conference. The Scientific Committee is chaired by Drs. Patricia Kissinger and Andrew Winter.
From the CDC Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP)
- STD Awareness Week was observed April 10- 16, 2022. This year CDC released the new campaign, Prepare Before You’re There, to make sexual health intentional. The campaign encourages people to make a prevention "game plan" before they're in the "heat of the moment" and includes an interactive quiz.
- During STD Awareness Week, CDC released the Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Surveillance, 2020. The annual report shows that reported cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and congenital syphilis dropped dramatically and later resurged in the first year of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. With the surveillance report, CDC also released preliminary data for primary and secondary syphilis among adults and congenital syphilis in 2021. Preliminary data show that syphilis continues to increase.
- CDC colleagues in DSTDP are assisting health departments in diagnosing and responding to multiple cases of monkeypox in the United States.
- The STI Federal Implementation Plan was open for public comment through June 13, 2022. The implementation plan outlines the federal commitments to meet the goals of the Sexually Transmitted Infections National Strategic Plan.
- The 2022 STD Prevention Conference will be held virtually September 19-22, 2022. This year’s conference theme, “Virtually Possible: New Horizons in Sexual Health,” comes at an exciting and challenging time given unprecedented rates of STDs and technological advancements that continue to transform social networks, health care delivery systems, and STD prevention practices. Conference registration is open.
- In May, CDC published a contract solicitation to fund a consortium of institutions to conduct studies to reverse persistent, troubling trends in reported cases of STIs. Members of the consortium–a mixture of academic, research, and public health institutions, as well as other types of entities–will undertake clinical trials and implementation science research, both aimed at increasing population-focused impact. Submission of proposals closed June 22, 2022.
- The Division is currently updating its strategic plan for 2022 to 2026. As part of these efforts, DSTDP held two listening sessions the end of June with external partners and recipients to inform the strategic direction and how it delivers on its mission.
- The Division recently released two infographics on STD prevention. One infographic highlights the rise in STIs and the overlap between HIV, substance use, and viral hepatitis, while the other showcases how STD program resources shifted to help control the spread of COVID-19.
- In May, the National Association of County and City Health Officials hosted a 2-day STI Research Agenda meeting to develop research questions for the field of STD prevention. Content areas discussed during the meeting ranged from biomedical prevention and clinical management to policy and transmission dynamics. The research questions developed from this meeting will inform the Division's research agenda.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest news from DSTDP by visiting the Division’s What’s New page.
The IUSTI Canada Webinar Series has continued to provide high-quality presentations by experts in the field.
Information about all of the IUSTI-Canada webinars and recordings of past webinars can be found on the IUSTI-Canada website.
IUSTI Canada continues to plan for the 2025 ISSTDR IUSTI Congress, to be held in Montreal, Quebec on July 24-27, 2025. A robust local organising committee is currently under development. Please mark your calendars for this exciting conference in a world-class city.
From the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)
ASHA hosted a symposium on opt-out chlamydia screening and exhibited at the American College Health Association meeting in San Diego, CA in June, 2022.
We produced several new episodes of our podcast series including how patients can have effective sexual health conversations with providers. We also launched the first two episodes in our four-part series on trichomoniasis infections: episodes one and two focus on trich diagnostics and health equity while subsequent conversations will examine treatment and psychosocial issues.
ASHA participated in the Federal Cervical Cancer Collaborative Roundtable Series for organisations, associations, and academics. The meeting, an offshoot of the Cancer Moonshot, was organised by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- We also took part in public health observations including STI Awareness Week/Month (April), Women’s Health Month (May), and Men’s Health Month (June). We published a dedicated page on our website for each observation and were active on social media.
- ASHA co-sponsored the Advancing HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis Testing Conference in March 2022. We are also a partner with the STI & HIV 2023 World Congress to be held July 24-27.
23rd IUSTI World Congress
Dates: 4-7 September 2022
Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
35th IUSTI-Europe Congress
Dates: 29 Sept-1 Oct 2022
Location: Tbilisi, Georgia
Website: https://iusti- europe2022.org/welcome.html
STI Global Update is published by the International Union against Sexually Transmitted Infections. Its aims are to provide an international perspective on the management and control of sexually acquired infections.
Prof. Jonathan Ross, Editor
Further information on the activities of IUSTI available at www.iusti.org