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Substance use disorders and sexually transmitted infections: a public health perspective

  • Vijaya Murali and Sabitha Jayaraman

It has long been recognised that substance use disorders and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common comorbid conditions. It is clear that treating one condition while leaving the other leads to increased morbidity and mortality in this patient population. However, engaging patients in treatment is extremely challenging, which is a huge public health concern. This article focuses on various sexually transmitted infections seen in the substance misuse population and means of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.

Declaration of interest


Learning objectives

  • Be aware of the current extent of comorbidity between substance use disorders and STIs
  • Learn about primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of STIs in people with substance use disorders
  • Understand the links between high-risk sexual behaviour and illicit drug use, as shown by current evidence

Corresponding author
Correspondence Dr Vijaya Murali, Longbridge Health and Community Centre, Parkway, Rednal, B45 9PL. Email:
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Substance use disorders and sexually transmitted infections: a public health perspective

  • Vijaya Murali and Sabitha Jayaraman
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