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Sex Transm Infect 89:1 doi:10.1136/sextrans-2012-050988
  • Whistlestop tour

Highlights from this issue

Welcome to this special issue of sexually transmitted infection (STI) on reinfection and retesting. This collection was inspired by a number of presentations at ISSTDR in Quebec City, 2011 discussing reinfection and retesting, well, repeatedly. We are grateful to the authors who have submitted their work to this issue.

One of the most consistent observations in clinical epidemiology is that the strongest risk factor for most repeatable diseases or adverse outcomes is a history of that same disease or outcome. People with STI get STIs. This has been a central tenant of STI epidemiology for decades, and at least intermittently studied and discussed as a basis for public health intervention.1 Retesting people with STIs capitalises on the well-described persistence of risk.

Frequent repeat testing can identify individuals soon after infection; aiding partner notification, minimising unwitting infection transmission, enabling prompt treatment and targeted prevention efforts. Internationally, national guidelines vary: some countries recommend routinely retesting positives at 3 months,2 ,3 6 months4 …