Sex Transm Infect 89:336-340 doi:10.1136/sextrans-2012-050707
  • Programme science

Coverage, context and targeted prevention: optimising our impact

  1. Willard Cates Jr2
  1. 1Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  2. 2FHI 360, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sevgi O Aral, Division of STD Prevention, The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1600 Clifton Road, Mailstop E-02, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA; SAral{at}, soa1{at}
  • Received 15 June 2012
  • Revised 7 November 2012
  • Accepted 18 November 2012
  • Published Online First 27 December 2012


Development of efficacious interventions is only the first step in achieving population level impact. Efficacious interventions impact infection levels in the population only if they are implemented at the right scale. Coverage must be prioritised across subpopulations based on the diversity and clustering of infections and risk in society, and expanded rapidly without delay. It is important to prioritise those who are most likely to transmit infection first.