Sexually transmitted diseases


The Centre has a long-standing interesting HIV, beginning early in the epidemic with analyses of outbreaks and investigating fundamental aspects of HIV biology transmission. Today the breadth of interest in HIV in the Centre spans all areas of demography, epidemiology, method development and policy translation, in the UK, Europe and worldwide, and is united by the aim of providing information that can contribute to the programs having maximal impact in reducing morbidity and mortality caused by HIV.

In addition to the diversity of research projects, the department hosts several major initiatives - including the HPTN Modelling Centre, the HIV Modelling Consortium and UNAIDS Reference Group - and a major general population observational cohort and trial platform in Zimbabwe.

STIs and Hepatitis

Bacterial and viral sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major global health problem. STIs can cause a wide range of symptoms and diseases to adults and children born of infected mothers. Many STIs also interact with HIV in multiple ways. STIs often enhance HIV acquisition and transmission risks whereas STIs acquisition and disease progression can be increased among people living with HIV, accelerating the spread of each other. STI control strategies typically rely on primary prevention, STI diagnosis, case management and treatment. Currently, only a few vaccines effectively protect against the acquisition of STIs (e.g. HPV and hepatitis B) there is a definite need for new STI vaccines to help future prevention efforts.

Research in the Centre spans a wide range of activities with the overarching aim to improve STIs control. Our research focuses on:

  • Natural history of STIs and their interaction with HIV
  • Quantifying the burden of infection and disease
  • Design and evaluation of STIs prevention interventions and treatment
  • Understanding the epidemiology of STIs
  • Vaccine development and assessment of vaccination programmes
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Patient experience and health services
  • Sexual networks and molecular epidemiology

We have a particular focus on HPV, HSV-2, gonorrhoea and Mycoplasma genitalium infection in the UK, Europe, US, Canada, as well as low and middle-income countries. We use a range of methods including development of a theoretical framework, field epidemiological studies, mathematical modelling, systematic reviews, statistical analysis, and economic evaluations.