STDs include the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which is mainly transmitted via unprotected sex. The virus weakens the immune system, as a result of which people are no longer protected against various infectious diseases. HIV can also cause AIDS. We fund various projects that investigate HIV prevention and HIV prevention drugs to prevent the spread of the virus and bring it under control.
Chlamydia is the most commonly occurring (bacterial) STD among young people and can cause infertility. To control this disease, we want to gain a better insight into the transmission, disease progression and complications of a chlamydia infection. For example, we fund a project that is investigating whether women who have had chlamydia experience long-term consequences, such as ectopic pregnancy and reduced fertility.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is sexually transmittable and widespread. As HPV can also cause cervical cancer, its early detection and treatment are vitally important. This can prevent complications as well as the further transmission of HPV. In this article, you can read more about what we do in the area of HPV.
Antimicrobial resistance and STDs
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing international problem in the case of STDs. Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microbes/bacteria no longer respond to medication, such as antibiotics, which renders it increasingly difficult to treat infections. It is possible to control AMR by using drugs in a more effective, safe and targeted manner, and by providing sex education (for example, about contraceptives) and encouraging therapy compliance. The monitoring of HIV, STDs and sexual behaviour can help to combat AMR as well.
Worldwide, antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea has become a growing problem. Now resistance has been demonstrated against the last available antibiotic, ceftriaxon. As a result of this, gonorrhoea threatens to become an untreatable disease. In a project funded by us, alternatives for ceftriaxon have been examined. By comparing three registered antibiotics (ertapenem, gentamicin and fosfomycin) with each other, the researchers concluded that the antibiotic ertapenem could be an effective alternative for ceftriaxon.