Tuesday 07 April 2020

M3: Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections

The course aims to provide an understanding of the structure and functioning of surveillance of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and strategies for planning and implementing STI surveillance programmes in diverse settings. The course starts with an overview of the aims and objectives of STI surveillance and describes the structure and functioning of STI surveillance systems in use today. Other lectures will address trends and determinants of STIs and the influence of STI treatment and care structures on STI surveillance. Participants will be given an opportunity to share their own country-specific experiences by describing key characteristics and outcomes of STI surveillance activities in their countries.

Next part of the course includes lectures on components of surveillance systems (laboratory and clinic-based surveillance and STI population-based surveys) and practical considerations in their establishment.  Lecturers will give examples of different surveillance programmes such as enhanced syphilis surveillance, population-based surveys in different population groups and gonococcal resistance to antimicrobials surveillance programme.

The rest of the course outlines management and analysis of surveillance data, examines key outputs of surveillance systems and ways in which data can be analysed and presented to obtain a fuller understanding of disease epidemiology and the determinants of transmission. Other lectures will outline criteria for the evaluation of the surveillance system performance (simplicity; flexibility; data quality; etc) and the role of surveillance in evaluation of STI prevention and control programmes. The course will also reflect on the new development in STI control and treatment and the importance of STI prevention and treatment in HIV control.

The key part of the course is a group work which will consist of the development of a protocol for STI surveillance that participants will present at the end of the course.

Learning objectives

The aim of this course is to introduce participants to components of STI surveillance and to describe strategies for implementation of STI surveillance programmes, as well as to provide an overview of current health care arrangements for the diagnosis, treatment and care of STIs. Participants will also learn about the methods and considerations for identifying, collecting and managing STI surveillance data, as well as different approaches used in STI surveillance data analysis  New techniques used in identifying, collecting, managing and disseminating STI surveillance data will be illustrated.

Key topics

  • Key factors that influence the trends in STIs
  • Main  functions and components of STI surveillance
  • Main advantages and disadvantages of each component of STI surveillance
  • Key approaches to analysis of  surveillance data
  • Limitations in the interpretation of STI surveillance data
  • General  framework for undertaking an evaluation of surveillance programmes
  • Main requirements for successful implementation of STI surveillance programmes
  • Development of a protocol for STI surveillance

Teaching Methods

The module consists of lectures and exercises, and utilises interactive methods of learning which aim to encourage participants to reflect upon and apply  their learning to their own country settings. A small group exercise will consist of development of a protocol for one component of STI surveillance which will enable participants to acquire practical skills. In addition, key readings and all lectures are provided to participants on a CD.  

Target Audience

Epidemiologists, social scientists, public health professionals.


The course takes place in five days.


  • Health Protection Agency, UK
  • European Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections (ESSTI) network
  • University Hospital for Infectious Disease „Dr. Fran Mihaljević“

Download the Programme:

Programme - Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections.doc

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