Report from Europe – July 2012

The 27th congress of the European Branch of the IUSTI will take place in Antalya in Turkey, 6-8 September 2012 with the title ‘STI and HIV: time for protection’
(see: ). The local hosts and co-presidents of the congress are Prof Demir Serter and Dr Deniz Gökengin. The International Scientific Committee for the meeting is co-chaired by Prof Michael Skerlev and Dr Derek Freedman. This is the first congress to be held in Turkey so it is a particularly important one for the Branch and we are all looking forward to a very stimulating meeting in a delightful setting. An innovative element in the scientific programme is the inclusion of a variety of workshops on different aspects of sexual health and venereology.

In 2013 the European Branch will not be holding a separate congress but will be contributing to the success of the joint meeting of the 14th World IUSTI and the 20th ISSTDR (International Society for STD Research) which will be held in Vienna, 14-17 July. This meeting has the title ‘Threatening past – promising future’ (see: ) and the congress president will be Prof Angelika Stary, with the Chair of the International Scientific Committee being Prof Thomas Quinn.

On the 3rd February I represented IUSTI Europe at a meeting held by the collaboration ‘HIV in Europe’ in London. This collaboration is supported and hosted by the Copenhagen HIV Programme (CHIP) at the University of Copenhagen and the State University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark. AIDS Action Europe, a Pan-European non-governmental organisation is actively involved, and a number of influential international health bodies have observer status including the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The aims of the collaboration are to increase awareness of HIV across Europe in particular with a view to preventing complications of late disease through earlier diagnosis. Following on from this I attended a conference organised by the project in Copenhagen where I delivered a plenary talk on ‘Indicator condition-guided HIV testing’. The conference proceedings are available at:

In June the ECDC published a report: ‘Response plan to control and manage the threat of multidrug-resistant gonorrhoea in Europe’
(available at: ). Two new national representatives have been appointed to the council of IUSTI Europe: Dr Norbert Brockmeyer for Germany and Dr Vesta Kucinskiene for Lithuania. The European STI Guidelines Project continues its work. Since my last report the guideline on ‘Organising a consultation for STD’ has been revised and has been published on the website
(see: ). The guideline on pelvic infection has completed the consultation process and will shortly be published on the website. The guidelines on balanoposthitis and epididymo-orchitis have been revised and drafts are available on the website for consultation and comments.

A patient information leaflet on genital warts has been completed and published on the website.

The extensive scientific background papers on syphilis from a workshop conducted in Mykonos in 2004 are now available on the guidelines section of the IUSTI website and I commend Dr Pieter van Voorst Vader for having achieved this. I should also like to congratulate Pieter upon his having been made an Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau in 2011 for his lifelong services to medicine and worthy causes in the Netherlands.

Revision of the following guidelines is also in progress:

  • Sexually acquired reactive arthritis
  • Gonorrhoea.

The 14th Conference of the Estonian Union against STI (IUSTI Estonia) was held at the Laulasmaa Spa in Estonia in June. In the same month a congress of the German STI Society was held in Berlin with Profs W Sterry and NH Brockmeyer as Co-presidents and with Prof P Kohl as Senior President. The second Euro-Asian Association of Dermato-venereologists met in Moscow in March with an excellent STI track organised by Professor Mikhail Gomberg. A post-graduate course on STI was held at Bertinoro in Italy, with a number of IUSTI Europe members speaking. The meeting was co-organised by Dr Marco Cusini. Any comments or suggestions on the work of the European Branch or of the European STI Guidelines Project would be most welcome; email me at

Dr Keith Radcliffe
European Regional Director

IUSTI Regions: Europe

Report from the IUSTI European Regional Director


IUSTI Europe Council

Prof Mikhail Gomberg (Russia) has been elected as the new Treasurer of IUSTI Europe, replacing Dr Simon Barton (UK). Dr Jackie Sherrard (UK) has been elected as the first IUSTI Europe Membership Secretary. Jackie has worked hard to establish a robust membership database for the Branch.


IUSTI Europe Congresses

Members of IUSTI Europe are very much looking forward to a series of excellent annual European STI congresses starting of course with the combined IUSTI/ISSTDR meeting in Vienna 14-17 July.

In 2014 the IUSTI Europe Congress will take place in Malta, 17-20 September. The president of the congress will be Dr Joe Pace. The conference venue will be the Radisson Blu, St Julian’s (see: Site visits to Malta have been made by the European Chair and Regional Director (Drs Airi Poder and Keith Radcliffe) as well as by the the Chair of the International Scientific Committee, Dr Jackie Sherrard. An International Scientific Committee has been established and a draft scientific programme produced.

In 2015 the IUSTI Europe Congress will take place in Barcelona and the President will be Dr Marti Vall Mayans. The meeting will be held 24-26 September.

In 2016 the European Congress will be held in Budapest hosted by the Hungarian STD Society under its President Prof Viktoria Varkonyi.

There are currently only two IUSTI national associations in the world and I am pleased to say that both of these are European; both have held meetings since my last report; Prof Mikhail Gomberg held a meeting of IUSTI.Russia in Moscow and Dr Airi Poder held a meeting of IUSTI.Estonia in that country.

This successful model of national associations is being viewed with interest in other European countries and serious expressions of interest in setting up further national associations have been received from the Ukraine and from Azerbaijan.

The third congress of the Euro-Asian Association of Dermato-venereologists (EAAD) took place in Odessa, Ukraine 31 May-4 June. As part of the meeting a very strong one day STI course was organised by Prof Mikhail Gomberg in which many international speakers participated. The EAAD has been established as a non-profit association registered in Latvia.


European STI Guidelines Project

The project has obtained the endorsement of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious diseases (ESCMID, see: ); Prof Mario Poljak from Slovenia has joined the Editorial Board as the official liaison with ESCMID.

The guideline on, ‘Organising a consultation for STI’ is now on the guidelines section of the European website (see: ) and has been published in the International Journal of STD and AIDS (2012; 23: 609-612). The revised guideline on pelvic infection has been posted on the website. The revised guideline on gonorrhoea has also been posted on the website and this is particularly important given the concern over developing antibiotic resistance. Prof Magnus Unemo (Sweden) has published an article in Eurosurveillance (2012; 17: 47) drawing attention to the guideline and its implications for clinical practice.

Work is ongoing on revising guidelines on: syphilis, proctitis, LGV, hepatitis epididymo-orchitis, HIV testing, balano-posthitis and sexually acquired reactive arthritis. A completely new guideline on partner management is in development. The project is also producing patient information in English about all the conditions addressed in the guidelines. All guidelines and patient information can be accessed at the guidelines web page. At the same page are links to patient information on gonorrhoea in German and information on a range of conditions in Romanian.


Dr Keith Radcliffe
June 2013

Director’s Report from the IUSTI European Regional
(July 2013- September, 2014)


IUSTI World  Congress  2013

The incontestable highlight in the world of IUSTI in 2013 was the IUSTI/ISSTDR Congress in Vienna from 14 to 17 July. In line with a general policy adopted by the Council of IUSTI-Europe, we do not organise a European congress in years when a world congress is held in Europe.

The IUSTI/ISSTDR Congress in Vienna was a highly impressive event as regards both its scientific and social programmes. By their extraordinary – and successful – efforts in organising it, Prof Angelika Stary and Dr Claudia Heller have surely earned a permanent place of honour in the IUSTI annals.

Council meeting of IUSTI – Europe 2013

During the IUSTI World Congress, also a Council meeting of IUSTI-Europe was held. This time in accord with our Rules and Regulations, the possibility of continuing under the expert and enthusiastic leadership of Dr Keith Radcliff had come to an end.

Over the years, Dr Keith Radcliff has spared no effort to advance the organisation. Dr Keith Radcliffe was officer of IUSTI-Europe for 12 years. He was Chair of the Scientific Board from 2001 to 2005 and Regional Director from 2005 to 2013. In the latter capacity, among other remarkable achievements, he made an invaluable contribution to establishing the IUSTI-Europe branch as a non-profit organisation, thus giving it a legal status for the first time in its history. In particular, he is the author of both the Articles of Association and the Rules and Regulations of the organisation.

Dr Radcliffe has also been Editor-in-Chief of the European STI Guidelines Project since 1998. IUSTI-Europe is extremely happy that Dr Radcliffe will continue in this role.

The Board of IUSTI-World elected Dr Airi Põder as new Regional Director. The Council of IUSTI Europe elected Dr Claudia Heller as new Chair of the Council.

From January 2013 IUSTI-Europe created a new post : the Membership Secretary. This position is currently held by Dr Jackie Sherrard. Dr Jackie Sherrard has made extraordinary efforts in creating a data-base of the members of IUSTI-Europe and in recruiting new members.

IUSTI Europe annual congresses in the following next three years.

  1. The Congress of IUSTI-Europe in Malta will be held 17-20 September, 2014. The President of the Congress will be Dr Joe Pae, the Chair of the Scientific Board – Dr Jackie Sherrard.
  2. The Congress of IUSTI-Europe will be held in Barcelona, 24-26 September, 2015. The President of the Congress will be Dr Marti Vall Mayans, the Chair of the Scientific Board – Dr Keith Radcliffe.
  3. The Congress of IUSTI-Europe will be held in Budapest, 15-17 September, 2016
    The President of the Congress will be Dr. Viktória Várkonyi


Changes of the structure of the Council of IUSTI Europe

Starting right after meeting in Vienna IUSTI Europe have carried out a review in order to make the organization stronger and to improve the work of its management.

During all these years IUSTI-Europe has undergone an impressive development and now requires far more day-to-day work to keep going ahead successfully. To arrange this work in an optimal way, we understood that there is an urgent need for looking for new approaches to the management of the organization.

Having pondered thoroughly on the question of how to enhance the efficacy of the management of IUSTI-Europe, we came to the idea that the best we could do now is to involve more people into the active sharing of the responsibility for the smooth functioning of our organization.

To achieve this aim IUSTI Europe have decided to change the Rules and Regulations of IUSTI Europe and to extend the number of IUSTI- Europe officers.

In the new version of the Rules and Regulations of IUSTI Europe there are four new positions:

  1. The Editor-in-Chief of the European STI Guidelines
  2. The Secretary General
  3. A Vice-Chair of International Development
  4. A Vice-Chair of Scientific Policy

In case of the first two positions we essentially just formalised the status quo.

Keith Radcliffe has been an excellent Editor-in-Chief of the European STI Guidelines and we are delighted that the national representatives understood the importance of this work and agreed that the Editor of European STI Guidelines should be a full member of the group of IUSTI officers.

The post of Secretary General combines two posts: that of the present Secretary and the recently added post of Membership Secretary. With her efficiency and dedication, Jackie Sherrard has proved that she will be perfectly capable of handling the additional tasks involved in the new, combined, post.

Vice-Chair of International Development and Vice-Chair of Scientific Policy are new posts for which we opened the procedure of nomination.

Vice-Chair of International Development

It is very important for IUSTI that this officer represents the interests of IUSTI-Europe in European scientific organisations related to our specialty, such as EADV and EAAD. The officer should be member of these organisations, preferably a member of their boards, and should have participated and would continue to participate actively in EAAD and all EADV conferences (EADV, EADV-Spring, EADV-Winter). The post also presupposes keeping close ties with the branches of IUSTI-Europe and providing advice and assistance to new countries that wish to establish their own IUSTI-Europe branches.

The national representatives have nominated Mikhail Skerlev for this position.

Vice-Chair of Scientific Policy

The primary duty of this officer is to participate consistently in the work of the Scientific Committees of the Conferences of IUSTI-Europe – i.e., to serve as a link and a bearer of continuity between the Scientific Committees of different IUST-Europe conferences. Also, this officer should create a database of the presenters and presentations of our conferences. The aim is to ensure an innovative approach in our organisation as regards the choice and treatment of topics, particularly with a view to preventing repetitiveness in the topics and presentations at consecutive conferences.

All the changes in Rules and Regulations will be discussed and voted on at our next Council meeting and confirmed at the General Assembly during our next IUSTI Europe Conference in Malta.


European STI Guidelines Project

The work of the European STI Guidelines Project continues. The following guidelines are currently being updated: balanoposthitis ; sexually acquired reactive arthritis; syphilis; HIV testing; non-gonoccocal urethritis; genital herpes; chlamydia.

In addition, two new guidelines are in the process of development: a guideline on partner management is nearing completion and work has commenced on producing a new guideline on the management of genital mycoplasmas. As each guideline is updated or developed patient information is being produced about that condition.

The guideline on lymphogranuloma venereum has been updated and posted on the website; it has also been accepted for publication by the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

The guidelines can be accessed at and the patient information at

Any comments or suggestions on the work of the European STI Guidelines Project would be gladly received by the Editor-in-Chief, Dr Keith Radcliffe (email:


Eastern European Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health

The task of the EE SRH Network mainly includes implementation of guidelines for the laboratory diagnosis and treatment of STIs as well as the optimisation and standardisation of the existing surveillance systems. For the first time in many countries, the monitoring of the antimicrobial resistance of gonococci has been established. The implementation of the treatment guidelines (elaborated by IUSTI) is conducted in tight collaboration with the leading experts of IUSTI.
Eastern Europe and its health care systems are experiencing significant change. Modern technologies, sophisticated assays, and diagnostic strategies are being introduced. Therefore collaboration with countries with well functioning health care structures are crucial. Adoption of internationally acknowledged, evidence-based standards and technologies will allow countries improvement of local medical care standards. Since its formation, the Eastern European Sexual and Reproductive Health (EE SRH) Network has been effective in facilitating this process.
This project is supported by grants from the SIDA, and Swedish institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
EE SRH Study Group have had meetings in Uppsala in January and March to improve the
quality assurance of laboratories detecting STI-s in Eastern European countries .
EE SRH Study Group together with IUSTI Estionia had organized 2 Microscopy Courses in Estonia in March and in May.
Marius Domeika has done marvellous work to establish the EE SRH Network and coordinating its work.

Other IUSTI related STI activities in Europe

11th Congress of the Baltic Association of Dermatovenereology

The 11th Congress of BADV (yearly organized meetings taking place in one of the Baltic Republics) was hosted by Kaunas University Department of Dermatovenereology (Chair, Prof Skaidra Valiukeviciene), in Lithuania in October 17-19, 2013.
The present meeting, in contrast from the number of the previous meetings, had devoted many hours for the management of sexually transmitted infections. This became possible due to the tight collaboration between the organizers of the BADV Congress and the Eastern European Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health.

IUSTI Courses in Russia
In November 2013 IUSTI Russia organized 2 STI Courses in Moscow and St. Petersburg
For Russian gynacologists .
M.Gomberg has given many lectures in different parts of Russia to introduce the IUSTI STD Management Guidelines.

IUSTI Symposium during the Congress of Russian Dermatovenerology Congress
In March 2014 the Russian Dermatovenerology Congress took place in Moscow. Many IUSTI-Europe council members had been invited to this IUSTI Symposium – organized by IUSTI Russia – to make the presentations.

EADV Spring Meeting in Belgrade

In the 12 th EADV Spring meeting which took place in Belgrade in May, 22 -24,
in contrast from many previous EADV conferences, a big attention was given to STI-s:
9 symposium/ workshops about STI-s were organized during this conference.
About half of IUSTI Europe Council members had been asked to make the presentations in this EADV conference.

16th Conference of IUSTI Estonia
In May,30 -31 the 16 th Conference of IUSTI Estonia took place in Aegviidu.
The number of participants were 130 (103 from Estonia and 27 from different European countries).

Permanent Training Course on STI :

In June,6 -8 the training course on STI-s took place in Bertinoro, Italy
The course was organised by the Work Group on Sexually Transmitted Infections of the Italian Society of Clinical Microbiology in cooperation with the Italian Society for STI,IUSTI and WHO
The number of participants were 67 (57 from Italy and 10 from different European countries)

In 2015 the IUSTI Europe branch undertook a number of successful activities.


IUSTI-Europe Conferences

Budapest, Hungary September 2016: The 30th annual conference was held in Budapest, Hungary in September 2016 in conjunction with the Hungarian STI society. The focus of the conference “Traditions, advances in STI care: harmony of personal and social prevention”. The Hungarian society held their annual meeting in advance and the ECDC arranged a symposium.

Prizes for free communications were awarded to Nicolas Pinto-Sander, Brigitta Mezö, Genevieve Van Liere and the poster prizes to Vives Nuria and Bernice Hoenderboom.

Sitges, Spain 2015:

The 29th annual conference was held in September, 2015 in Sitges, Spain, in collaboration with the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH). The conference focussed on the sexual health of men. Separate symposia were organised by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on the promotion of sexual health among MSM and by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the opportunities offered by new technologies for the prevention of STI. There were two pre-conference activities: a symposium with local and European public health and NGO experts on preventive strategies against STIs in MSM, and a full day STI foundation course from BASHH taken by 40 infectious disease clinicians and dermatologists from the Catalan region.

Upcoming conferences:

  • Helsinki, Finland, 31st August – 2nd September 2017
  • IUSTI World and Europe conference in Dublin, Ireland – 27th -30th June 2018
  • Tallinn, Estonia 2019
  • Bochum, Germany 2020

IUSTI-Europe Summer Schools

Bertinoro 2016:

“basic” STI summer school held in Bertinoro in June 2016 has again been very successful. There were 75 students (40 Italian).

Vienna 2015:

The European Branch of IUSTI established a new training course – the European Master Class in Sexually Transmitted Infections. The first course took place as a joint meeting together with the Austrian Society of STIs and Dermatological Microbiology (ÖGSTD) in Vienna in June 2015, chaired by Angelika Stary and Marco Cusini. This was generally very successful. IUSTI-Europe provided five scholarships for young European scientists to attend and some National societies also provided funding.

STI Guidelines

Currently 23 guidelines on website or in development. Two new guidelines are at an advanced stage of development: on vulvar diseases and Mycoplasma genitalium. Dr Marti Vall Mayans represented the Editorial Board at an STI/ HIV surveillance meeting organised by the ECDC in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 8-9 March 2016.

Cooperation with other international organizations

ECDC: The relationship between IUSTI and the ECDC has become more formalised over the last 12 months. Liaison officers have been appointed by both parties to enable closer cooperation and a memorandum of understanding has been drawn up. IUSTI-Europe has contributed to three lines of ECDC work:

  1. HIV testing guidelines
  2. PREP guidelines
  3. Surveillance of GC resistance

EDF there are strengthening ties with the European Dermatology Forum (EDF), with IUSTI-Europe activities on the official agenda of the 2016.Annual Dermatology Forum Meeting

UEMS: There has been a great deal of cooperation between the Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes (UEMS) and IUSTI. The STI subcommission of UEMS is continuously involved in creating new MCQs for the STI/Venereology European Board Examination, which is held every year at the beginning of August in Frankfurt . The subcommission has also participated actively in the establishment of the new detailed Curriculum and Training Requirements for Dermatology and Venereology. A further development within the UEMS that augurs well for the collaboration between UEMS and IUSTI-Europe is the establishment of a joint committee – Sexual Medicine – which embraces urology, gynecology and psychiatry.

Recent activites of IUSTI- Europe

  1. IUSTI-Europe Conferences

    Helsinki, Finland 2017: The 31st annual conference was held in Helsinki, Finland in September 2017 in conjunction with the Finnish STI society. The focus of the conference “STIs – connecting people” . The local organiser was Eija Hiltunen-Back and the chair of the scientific committee was Stephan Lautenschlager. There was a excellent programme with particiapnts from around the world.

    Upcoming conferences:

        • IUSTI World and Europe conference in Dublin, Ireland – 27th -30th June 2018
        • Tallinn, Estonia 5th – 7th September 2019
        • Bochum, Germany 2020
        • IUSTI World and Europe and ISSTDR, Netherlands, 2021
  2. Communication

    A social media policy for conferences has been developed and was in place in Helsinki. There is now an active Twitter presence at conferences to disseminate presentations. A linkedin group has been established to share STI information.

  3. IUSTI-Europe Summer Schools

    IUSTI Advanced Course on Sexually Transmitted Infections 2017: Test and Treat The second IUSTI advanced course in took place in Helsinki over 2 days, immediately before the conference. This was chaired by Angelika Stary and Marco Cusini. This was very successful with 53 students from 24 countries. IUSTI-Europe provided eight scholarships for young European scientists to attend and some National societies also provided funding. It is planned to run a introductory course in 2018 in Bertinoro, Italy and further advanced course in Tallinn in 2019.

  4. STI Guidelines

    The guideline methodology was undated early in 2017. 5 guidelines had been updated in the last year, and published on the IUSTI website and in journals, a further 6 are currently being reviewed. A pocket summary of the IUSTI-Europe Guidelines is in development. A joint IUSTI Europe-EDF-EADV meeting was held with an agreement for a common strategy for STI guideline production.

  5. Cooperation with other international organizations

ECDC: The relationship between IUSTI and the ECDC continues to develop. Liaison officers have been appointed by both parties to enable closer cooperation. Currently there is joint work on a project to look at the completeness,and improve European STI data reporting.

EDF: there are strengthening ties with the European Dermatology Forum (EDF), with IUSTI-Europe activities on the official agenda of the Annual Dermatology Forum Meeting

EADV: on the IUSTI Europe activities on the Annual Dermatology Forum. Two EADV Task Forces in the field(s) of STIs have been officially (re)approved