Stemming the Rising Tide of STIs: What is our role?

Press Release – University of Auckland

Public Lecture: Stemming the Rising Tide of STIs: What is our role?

A world-leading expert in sexually transmitted infections and control will speak at the University of Auckland this week.

Dr Gail Bolan is visiting from the United States and will present a public lecture titled “Stemming the Rising Tide of STIs: What is our role?”

In the lecture she will discuss how some diseases are not mere medical conditions but indicators of structural deficiencies and societal dysfunction. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are glaring examples, driven by poverty, exclusion and other social determinants of health.

“In earlier times, tuberculosis and HIV were equally indicative of health disparities and faced similar challenges of poor quality data, low political prioritisation, and inadequate funding. Why then are STIs still of such low global concern?”

“The answer is not as simple as individual personal behaviour. In high-income countries, sexual networks, dating apps, inequities in health care access and social media complicate the way forward.”

Dr Bolan has been in the field of STI Prevention and Control for over 30 years working at the local, state and national levels. A graduate of Dartmouth Medical School, she completed her training in internal medicine at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

She received subspecialty training in infectious diseases at the Tufts New England Medical Center and the Stanford Medical Center and in medical epidemiology as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer at CDC in the Respiratory and Special Pathogens Branch. She directed the California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center for over 20 years.

Dr Bolan is a leader in the field and is recognised for her contributions in research on the epidemiology and prevention of STDs, for implementation of science-based programs and for effective STD program policy development. Dr Bolan has authored or co-authored over 150 scientific publications. She has served on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) HIV/STD Prevention Advisory Committee, CDC Office of Infectious Diseases Board of Scientific Counselors, and the American STD Association (ASTDA) Executive Committee. She is past chair of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) and past vice chair of the American Social Health Association (ASHA) Board of Directors.

Her lecture is on Thursday 15 February, 5:30 – 6:30pm in the 505-007 lecture theatre, Ground Floor, Building 505, 85 Park Road, Grafton.

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