RSU Researchers Present NRP Project Results on the Impact of the COVID-19 Epidemic
Researchers from Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) continue to present the results of the National Research Programme (NRP) project 'Impact of COVID-19 on healthcare system and public health in Latvia; ways in preparing health sector for future epidemics' in international forums. RSU Professor Dace Rezeberga participated in the Congress of International Society of Infectious Diseases in Obsterics and Gynecology (ISIDOG) in Hungary, while RSU researcher Ieva Briedīte spoke at the symposium of European Sexual Medicine Network Sexuality in Europe that was held in Austria.
RSU Prof. Dace Rezeberga
One of the main topics at the 4th ISIDOG Congress was the impact of COVID-19 infection on women's health, including during pregnancy. The congress took place on 14 - 17 October 2021 in Budapest, Hungary.
ISIDOG brings together specialists from various fields with research interests in the diagnosis and treatment of genital infections and sexually transmitted diseases.
Prof. Rezeberga had compared the impact of COVID-19 on the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in Latvia with the data of several consortium countries of the international project I-SHARE.
Study participants from Czechia and Denmark were statistically less likely to want to test for sexually transmitted infections and HIV infection than study participants from Latvia, whereas participants from Sweden were more active in this respect. Long waiting times (40%), transport restrictions (23%) and financial issues (16%) were mentioned as the main reasons that limit people from getting tested for HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
At the congress it was confirmed that it is important to define those sexual and reproductive health services that should also be available during crises, and diagnosing sexually transmitted infections and HIV must be included in the list of such services. In order to ensure this, self-testing should be introduced as a routine method for diagnosing sexually transmitted infections, which, in turn, should be included in current guidelines and widely explained among professionals and patients.
ISIDOG (International Society for Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology)
I-SHARE (International Sexual Health And REproductive Health) Survey
RSU researcher and assistant Ieva Briedīte
The European Sexual Medicine Network, which is an action of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology, organised a symposium Sexuality in Europe that was held in Salzburg, Austria from 21 to 23 October 2021. The abstracts that were submitted were evaluated by a scientific committee, and the best ones were presented at the symposium.
The presentation 'Impact of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on sexual health and behavior in Latvia' co-authored by RSU researcher and doctor Ieva Briedīte was held as part of the symposium’s section on the impact of COVID-19 on sexual health. Serbia presented a study on sexual dysfunction before and during COVID-19 pandemic.
In her speech, Briedīte emphasised that sexual activity of the women interviewed for the study did not change during COIVD-19 restrictions. Nevertheless, it was stated that the satisfaction with sexual life decreased, which led to active discussions.
The symposium took place in person and provided participants with the opportunity to establish new contacts and discuss possible cooperation. It also confirmed that sexual health is an important part of public health in general, which should not be ignored in times of crisis either.