STIs are a major global health problem. Biomedical strategies are under development that will help prevent these infections. Vaccines against C trachomatis and N gonorrhoeae are in early stages of development. Stage-III trials are underway on prophylactic vaccines for HPV and HSV-2. Strategies focused on immunizing only high-risk individuals are unlikely to stem the tide of STIs. Approaches to widespread immunization require acceptance of such vaccines by health care providers, institutions providing funding, parents, and adolescents. Microbicides offer a female-controlled method for protection from STIs. They use many strategies to prevent infection. These products are at various stages of development. It seems that young women and teenagers would be interested in using microbicides. Correct and consistent use of microbicides will require taking women's preferences into account during product development and marketing.
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