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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Washington: Professor Receives $680,000 Grant to Study Effectiveness of Doxycycline to Reduce STIs

Dr. Connie Celum, a professor of global health at the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Medicine, was awarded a nearly $680,000 grant to evaluate whether an antibiotic commonly used to treat acne and Lyme disease is safe and effective in reducing bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The study focuses on men who have sex with men and transgender women living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and taking pre-exposure prophylaxis, a daily pill used to prevent HIV infection.

“Given the increasing rates of STIs among men who have sex with men and transgender women, it is important to find innovative and effective interventions,” Dr. Celum said. “We are testing an innovative approach of doxycycline post-exposure prophylaxis after condomless sex to augment the current standards of screening, treatment and messaging about safer sex.”

Post-exposure prophylaxis is an antiretroviral treatment strategy that reduces the likelihood of HIV infection after potential exposure. Using doxycycline as a post-exposure prophylaxis has shown early effectiveness. In a randomized open-label trial among 232 HIV-negative men who have sex with men, post-exposure doxycycline resulted in a 47 percent relative reduction in new STIs.

“Before making recommendations about doxycycline use for STI prevention, policymakers need additional data on the safety and efficacy of doxycycline post-exposure prophylaxis, as well as the impact on antimicrobial resistance about which there was limited data,” Dr. Celum said.

The research will be conducted in conjunction with the University of California, San Francisco.

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