On 4 September 2019, ECDC published the report "Developing a national strategy for the prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections". The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) commissioned this contract through contract ECD.8353, coordinated by Otilia Mardh and Andrew J Amato-Gauci, and produced by Transmissible B.V., represented by Arnold Bosman, Marita van de Laar and Jurgita Pakalniskiene.
A strategy should be evidence-based and take into account national STI epidemiological data. Prevention and control activities should consider the determinants of sexual transmission, for example, factors such as transmissibility of pathogens, contact rates, and duration of infectiousness. A combination of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention activities may be used, based on their proven effectiveness; equally relevant when selecting prevention activities are strategy objectives and the characteristics of the epidemic in question.
The development of a new national strategy and action plan should consider alignment with other policies, strategies and action plans – both national and international – in order to create synergies between related policy areas.
The report proposes a seven-step approach for the development, implementation and monitoring of a national strategy and action plan:
- Establish a national coordination mechanism
- Engage stakeholders in the process
- Perform a situation analysis
- Develop the strategy document
- Develop an action plan
- Coordinate and manage the action plan implementation
- Establish a monitoring and evaluation plan