STD: Edited by Joseph A. DuncanPotential and demonstrated impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on sexually transmissible infectionsOgunbodede, Olaitan T.a; Zablotska-Manos, Irynaa,b,c; Lewis, David A.a,b,c,d Author Information aWestmead Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Westmead bMarie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, University of Sydney, Westmead cWestern Sydney Sexual Health Centre, Western Sydney Local Health District, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia dDivision of Medical Virology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa Correspondence to David A. Lewis, Level 4, Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre, 162 Marsden Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150, Australia. Tel: +61 2 9762 5386; e-mail: [email protected] Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website (www.co-infectiousdiseases.com). Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases: February 2021December 10, 2021 - Volume 34 - Issue 1 - p 56-61 doi: 10.1097/QCO.0000000000000699 Buy SDC Metrics Abstract Purpose of review This review considers the potential and demonstrated impacts of SARS-CoV-2 on the sexually transmissible infection (STI)/HIV transmission. Recent findings COVID-19 increases the vulnerability of those at highest risk of acquiring STI/HIV. Altered health-seeking behaviour, reductions in STI/HIV clinic capacity, service disruptions and redeployment of human resources to assist COVID-19 control efforts have impacted on STI/HIV control programmes. Reports of reduced STI incidence are emerging, but it is hard to determine whether this is real or due to decreased testing during COVID-19 lockdown periods. Fear of COVID-19 and implemented control measures have altered STI/HIV transmission dynamics. Sexual health services adapted to the pandemic by reducing face-to-face patient encounters in favour of telehealth and mail-based initiatives as well as more stringent triage practice. Many sexual health and HIV treatment services now operate at reduced capacity and experience ongoing service disruptions, which necessarily translates into poorer outcomes for patients and their communities. Summary In the short-term, COVID-19 related sexual behaviour change is driving STI/HIV transmission downwards. However, the impacts of the global COVID-19 response on sexual health-seeking behaviour and STI/HIV services threaten to drive STI/HIV transmission upwards. Ultimately, the expected rebound in STI/HIV incidence will require an appropriate and timely public health response. https://links.lww.com/COID/A31. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.