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Considerations for Research on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Reflections of an STI Clinician–Researcher

Abstract

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have been explored in various sexual subgroups. While excellent, these analyses have primarily occurred from uniquely biologic, epidemiologic, or sociologic perspectives. Missing from these discussions has been in-depth presentations of the dynamics of STI transmission from all three viewpoints simultaneously. In this paper, I present information about STI transmission for each STI, including considerations of prevalence, and then review the STI research and of the concept of risk. I then apply these three considerations to a fictitious case study to show their importance and utility. I close by arguing that this information could strengthen future sociologic reviews of STIs and sexual health by helping such researchers include more nuanced understandings about STIs.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In the jurisdiction where I work, nurse practitioners can autonomously order all medications and testing related to STI diagnosis, treatment, and management, including referrals and consultations. Nurse practitioners are thus equal in scope of practice to family physicians and can work independently in their practice, without needing to collaborate with physicians.

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Acknowledgements

Patrick O’Byrne holds a research chair in public health and HIV prevention from the Ontario HIV Treatment Network.

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O’Byrne, P. Considerations for Research on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Reflections of an STI Clinician–Researcher. Arch Sex Behav 49, 1863–1873 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01726-7

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Keywords

  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Risk
  • Epidemiology