The NICHD focuses a great deal of its research on factors and behaviors that affect the risk of contracting or spreading STDs/STIs and works to develop new interventions to prevent the spread of STDs/STIs in vulnerable populations. Also, since 1987, the NICHD has supported research and training activities that have helped to establish and define the field of contraceptive microbicides, products that both prevent pregnancy and reduce the transmission of STDs, including HIV.
NICHD-supported researchers are also trying to understand the best ways to communicate with people about STDs/STIs and effective preventive measures. Some of this research includes studying attitudes, perception, and knowledge of STDs/STIs and their prevention; understanding the use and misuse of contraception to prevent STDs/STIs; and understanding the misinformation surrounding the topic while aiming to identify the best settings for providing education about sexual health.
Because preventing and treating STDs/STIs is a major goal for the NIH and its Institutes, the NICHD conducts and supports a variety of clinical trials on STDs/STIs, including HIV.