As part of a combination prevention approach, our HIV programs provide clients with sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening, diagnosis and treatment services, reducing their risk of HIV infection and improving their overall sexual and reproductive health.
Decreasing the burden of disease caused by sexually transmitted infections (STI) starts with efforts to increase awareness of their symptoms. We use behavior change communication to increase symptom awareness and to motivate care-seeking among high risk populations. Messages are delivered through channels most likely to reach affected populations including interpersonal communication and mid-media.
Once a client seeks care, we also work to make STI treatment simpler. In Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Myanmar, we distribute pre-packaged STI treatment kits designed to treat ulcerative and non-ulcerative STIs. The contents of an STI kit typically include appropriate antimicrobial medication, male condoms, partner referral cards and information on the STI itself. Providing all treatment essentials in one package improves adherence to full and proper treatment, helps prevent further transmission and encourages partner referral.
In other settings, we provide STI diagnostic and treatment services as part of a broader package of health services:
- Men undergoing voluntary medical male circumcision must be screened and treated for any STIs prior to undergoing the procedure.
- Women receiving certain reproductive health services, such as an intrauterine contraceptive device, also receive an STI screen.
- In 12 countries, we also screen clients for cervical cancer, which is caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV), a common STI.
Making a Difference
In 2011, PSI/Ethiopia launched three STI kits: AddisCure, AddisCure Plus and Ulcure. All were designed to improve syndromic management of STIs and make treatment more accessible to populations most at risk.
- An Integrated Approach of Addressing GBV and HIV for AGYWs. The Case of DREAMS Project in Malawi (WEPED564)
Half of the 100,000 new HIV infections in Malawi occur among young people (15-24 years). Through the DREAMS initiative, PSI Malawi offer integrated health services including GBV to Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in Machinga district. Health services on offer to AGYW's through mobile outreach clinics are STI screening, HIV testing and first-line support to survivors of GBV. Program data was used to understand the effectiveness of integrating GBV and HIV service for AGYW.
- Mapping Population Sizes and Hotspot Locations for Female Sex Workers Improved Targeting for HIV Prevention Interventions in Ethiopia (TUPEE702)
HIV prevalence among female sex workers (FSWs) in Ethiopia is approximately 23%. To address risk of HIV in this population, the MULU/MARPs combination HIV prevention project was launched in 2012 across 168 Ethiopian towns/cities. Implementation was challenged by insufficient data on FSW locations and sizes. A rapid size estimation approach was developed to aid program implementation.