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HIV and STIs


The predominant transmission mode of both HIV and other STIs is sexual intercourse. In addition, strong evidence supports several biological mechanisms through which STIs facilitate HIV transmission by increasing both HIV infectiousness and HIV susceptibility. Methods for preventing sexual transmission of HIV and STIs are the same, as are the target audiences for interventions.


Areas of interest

Red Ribbon HIV

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

HIV continues to be one of the most important communicable diseases in the UK. It is an infection associated with serious morbidity, high costs of treatment and care, significant mortality and high number of potential years of life lost. The infection is still frequently regarded as stigmatising and has a prolonged ‘silent’ period during which it often remains undiagnosed.
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Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

STIs are diseases that can be transmitted by unprotected sex between two people. Not everyone with an STI will have signs and symptoms of the condition. If a person does present with symptoms, these may include increased discharge, pain or ulcers. If the STIs are left undetected and untreated they may result in serious complications in later years.
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HIV/STI Prevention

HIV/STI prevention is focused on access to sexual health services, early diagnosis and effective treatment of infection and the promotion of safer sexual behaviour. PHE activities contribute to all these aspects of HIV/STI prevention.
›› More information on HIV/STI Prevention