The scope of the STI Group is the evaluation of interventions to influence behavior, health, and other individual and community outcomes for the prevention, detection, management, and rehabilitation of STIs, while considering the economic impact of the interventions and outcomes.
The interventions may be primary (prevention of infection), secondary (prevention of disease once infected), or tertiary (prevention of severe consequences of disease) and are at both the individual or community levels.
The interventions focus on two broad outcomes. First, health outcomes are the major outcome of interest. Second, because of the importance of behavior in the epidemiology of STIs, interventions that influence sexual behavior that places persons at risk for STIs or that influence health care outcomes, either at the patient or health care provider level, are a focus. Behavioral interventions may influence primary prevention (e.g. prevention of infection through promotion of safe sex practices); secondary prevention (e.g. increased health care seeking); or tertiary prevention (e.g. prevention of consequences of pelvic inflammatory disease through physician education). Detection, management, and rehabilitation are emphasized in addition to prevention.
There are up to 30 organisms, diseases, or disease syndromes considered to be sexually transmitted or associated with sexual transmission; these may be topics of reviews. Some are common and clearly within the scope of the STI Group (e.g. gonorrhea or chlamydia), while others may not be viewed solely as within the scope of the STI Group (e.g. bacterial vaginosis and vaginal mycotic infections in certain populations or congenital syphilis). However, hepatitis B and C and human papilloma virus leading to premalignant disease will not be included, although there are areas where collaboration has been possible with other CRGs.
HIV may also be an area of overlap because of the possibility of sexual transmission. The STI Group will not conduct reviews in which HIV infection is an outcome. However, reviews may be undertaken of studies in which STI control as a means of HIV control have been appropriate, using the STI outcomes as the outcomes of concern. In all areas, the STI Group will work collaboratively with other CRGs (e.g. HIV/AIDS Group, Hepato-Biliary Group, Infectious Diseases Group, Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, Skin Group and Gynaecological Cancer Group) and Fields and overlap will be avoided where possible.