Research

Epidemiology in South Africa: STI testing could boost HIV prevention

To maximize HIV prevention efforts in South Africa and perhaps the broader region, public health officials should consider testing for other sexually transmitted infections when they test for HIV, according to a new paper in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections. STIs can make HIV easier to transmit even after antiretroviral therapy has begun, so rooting out STI co-infections in patients should improve HIV prevention. The new study led by Brown University public health researchers emphasizes that sooner is indeed better than later, because the data show that HIV-positive South Africans were much more likely to be troubled by STIs before starting HIV treatment than after.