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Epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases in Eastern Europe. Report of a WHO meeting, Copenhagen, Denmark, 13-15 May 1996.
Copenhagen, Denmark, WHO, Regional Office for Europe, 1996. , 14 p. (EUR/ICP/CMDS 08 01 01)In response to the alarming rise in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the newly independent states, the WHO Regional Office for Europe, WHO headquarters and the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS organized a meeting of experts from the most affected countries to exchange information and to identify priority actions for the control of the epidemic. The participants included 15 experts from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. The participants called for urgent action, including a careful assessment of the existing systems for STD control, reallocation of resources among the various activity areas and strong advocacy to generate awareness at the top level of government and strengthen its support for the recommended initiatives. They also urged that national coordination of programmes to promote sexual health and prevent STDs and HIV be strengthened, that statutory services be made more accessible and acceptable to patients and that efforts be made to ensure that all health workers managing patients with STDs, including those in the private sector, provide high-quality care. (author's)
Approaching STDs and AIDS on a global scale. Interview with Peter Piot, Associate Director, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Global Programme on AIDS (GPA), World Health Organisation (WHO).
AIDS BULLETIN. 1993 Jul; 2(2):4-5.Dr. Piot became involved with the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Program on AIDS (GPA) through his early involvement as Chairman of the WHO Steering Committee on the Epidemiology of AIDS. He responds to questions about the HIV pandemic. Although researchers realized early on that HIV could be transmitted sexually and suspected that condom use could confer protection against HIV infection as it does against other STDs such as gonorrhea and syphilis, only minimal light was shed to the public on the association of HIV with STDs. The delay in clearly pointing out the association stemmed from professionals' lack of desire to further stigmatize HIV/AIDS by designating it as a STD. Furthermore, many Western hematologists had little interest in STDs, and STD control in many countries tended to be coercive. Regarding the risk of HIV infection, Dr. Piot notes that the presence of a genital ulcer caused by syphilis, chancroid, or herpes increases one's risk 10-20-fold; risk increases 3- to 4-fold where gonorrhea or chlamydia are present. Acknowledging the association between STDs and the risk of contracting HIV and understanding the need to control STDs for the prevention of HIV/AIDS, the WHO's STD program was brought under the auspices of and integrated with the GPA. People, and especially women, who may present at STD clinics for treatment are prime candidates for much needed help in avoiding HIV infection; Dr. Piot notes that unlike men, many women do not realize they are infected with an STD until complications develop. Dr. Piot's recent appointment at GPA means the WHO will increase its focus upon the prevention and treatment of STDs. The WHO favors an integrated program approach. Additionally, the GPA plans to develop a short-list of recommended drugs for treating STDs and hopes to develop ways for developing countries to buy them affordably with help from UNICEF and the World Bank. Finally, Dr. Piot explains that, with some exceptions, the prevalence of STDs is lower in developed countries and, therefore, less of a prevention priority.