After years of neglect, greater global attention is being paid to the increasing incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A recently published WHO report highlights that, annually, there are an estimated 376 million new cases of four curable STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. The need for greater focus on STIs has also been highlighted in the context of expanded use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, where high STI prevalence at baseline and incidence during PrEP use have been observed. The epidemiological situation demands a call to action to ensure that these STIs are addressed, and that populations at risk have access to comprehensive STI prevention and care.
Integration of STI services and PrEP has challenges, but it also provides an opportunity not only to induce much- needed progress in STI control, but also to optimize broader sexual and reproductive health services for key, underserved and overlooked populations.