31 Jul 2019

Monash research aired at major HIV conference

Jason presenting in Mexico City. Photo by Roger Pebody.
Melbourne Sexual Health Centre's Associate Professor Jason Ong recently delivered an address about his research into PrEP and STIs at the 10th International IAS conference on HIV Science, on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO).

A/Prof Ong conducted a systematic review for WHO on STI incidence and prevalence in PrEP programmes, incorporating 88 studies. PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis involves HIV-negative people taking medications to stop them acquiring HIV. However, researchers, clinicians and public health policy makers have raised concerns over the role of PrEP which, while preventing HIV, facilitates the risk for STIs. STIs are increasing globally.

Jason's study found that STI prevalence was already high in people seeking PrEP, with 24% having chlamydia, gonorrhoea and/or early syphilis at baseline.

WHO has outlined a series of interventions needed to address STIs within PrEP programmes.

The IAS (International Aids Society) is the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members in more than 170 countries. Its biennial conference, the largest open science conference on HIV science in the world, had more than 70 sessions, drawing together top scientists, policy makers, health professionals, people living with HIV and funders.

To read more about Associate Professor Ong’s conference address and work click here.

Ong J et al. STIs incidence and prevalence in PrEP programmes – highlights from a systematic review. 10th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019), Mexico City, session SUSA07, 2019.

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