WHO releases new module of the PrEP implementation tool on integration of STI services

Sept. 6, 2022
WHO STI guidance. 

At the 23rd World Congress of the International Union against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI), the World Health Organization released a new module of its implementation tool for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to support countries implementing and scaling up integrated STI services for people who use PrEP.  

The module provides a framework and practical guidance for decision-makers, program and facility managers, and healthcare workers for the gradual integration of sexually transmitted infection (STIs) services considering the local context and modes of PrEP delivery services. 

People who would benefit from PrEP for HIV infection are also often at high risk of another STIs. Globally, 1 in every 4 persons who would benefit from HIV PrEP have been diagnosed previously with at least 1 STI - namely gonorrhoea, syphilis or chlamydia before starting PrEP. 

Since STIs are asymptomatic, many of these infections would have been missed and the chain of transmission would have continued if testing had not occurred. Considering that many STIs are easily cured, offering STI services for people on PrEP is an opportunity that should not be missed. Recently, WHO has conducted a review of national guidance documents for HIV PrEP and found that one third did not mention STIs as part of their PrEP-related recommendations. 

WHO release