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PL01.1 Gollow lecture – sti and sustainable development in 2015 and beyond
  1. Helen Rees
  1. Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and Honorary Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK


The Millennium Development Goals will expire in 2015 and the world is reshaping its vision towards a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Under the MDGs there were measurable targets focusing on reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. The MDGs provided an opportunity for a continued focus on the prevention and control of STIs, given the considerable burden of morbidity and mortality associated with STIs, and the relationship with HIV, particularly among women and child in low and middle income countries. Even with this focus, the STI field has struggled to achieve significant changes in disease burden, although there have been some notable achievements e.g. eradication of congenital syphilis in Cuba. Unlike the MDGs, the SDG has only one health goal to “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all ages”. This loss of specificity presents a challenge to the STI field, and is contrary to notions of targeted interventions for populations most at risk. In addition, new global commitments have steered funding agencies towards topic specific funding pledges. The GAVI refurbishment, the London Summit on Family Planning, and the international response to Ebola and to global health emergencies, means that both bilateral and national health funding are being spread across a wider range of priority issues. So where does this leave STIs and has the world ceased to prioritise this field? Has the status of STIs become more aligned to the definition of Neglected Tropical Diseases i.e. infectious diseases that principally impact the world's poorest people. This talk will explore the status of the STI field and make suggestions about how we can reinvigorate its importance within a changing global context.

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