Confronting Inequities in STI Prevention, Diagnostics and Care

Symposium 10

The role of brief behavioural interventions in a combination prevention approach to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV: current achievements, challenges and way forward

Day/time: Tuesday, September 6th 2022, 12:00 – 13:30
Venue: Kalundu conference room

Rapid tests, vaccines and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) have significantly contributed to the prevention of HIV and STI transmission. However, STIs, including HIV, remain an important public health issue, and in some populations STI incidence is increasing. Following a combination intervention approach, behavioural mediation is essential to the implementation of biomedical interventions, as it enhances awareness, demand, uptake of, adherence to, and retention in prevention programmes. Moreover, evidence-based behavioural-change interventions play a critical role in increasing the sustainability of STI/HIV prevention efforts. Promotion of research of evidence-based behavioural HIV/STI interventions and their integration in national and global agendas and policies should be prioritized. The WHO Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (SRH) Department reviewed and assessed existing evidence, leading to the publication of the Brief sexuality-related communication (BSC): recommendations for a public health approach.

This symposium aims to expand on WHO’s work on brief behavioural interventions to improve STI/HIV outcomes and sexual health in general. The objectives are to:

  • Discuss the role of behavioural interventions within the current landscape of STI/HIV prevention and the synergy between behavioural and biomedical interventions within combination STI/HIV prevention in the context of the new Global Health Sector Strategy on STIs, 2022 – 2030 and Sustainable Devolopment Goals (SDG) 2030.
  • Elaborate on the content, delivery and utility of brief sexuality related communication through country examples, taking into account environmental determinants of different settings.
  • Highlight the importance of a holistic approach towards STI/HIV prevention and training of health care workers on sexual health.

Chairpersons: Clara Sandoval; Soe Soe Thwin; Igor Toskin

12:00-12:15 Socio-behavioural interventions in STI/HIV prevention: WHO perspective Igor Toskin (WHO, Switzerland)
12:15-12:30 Scientific evidence of effectiveness of brief behavioural interventions for shifting sexual health outcomes Rob Stephenson
(University of Michigan, USA)
12:30-12:45 Socio-behavioural interventions to increase access to sexual health among various populations: the experience of Republic of Moldova, including some results from the BSC project Galina Lesco (Neovita, Moldova)
12:45-13:00 Socio-behavioural interventions to increase access to sexual health among key populations: the experience of Peru, including some results from the BSC project Carlos Cáceres (Universidad
Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru)
13:00-13:15 Holistic approach to sexual health from a training perspective: Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Rights, Sexual Health & Education Thierry Troussier (UNESCO, France)
13:15-13:30 Q&A