[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sexually transmitted infections (STI) are common in developing countries. There is limited evidence from randomised controlled trials for STI control as an effective HIV prevention strategy. Improved STI treatment services have been shown to reduce HIV incidence in an environment characterised by an emerging HIV epidemic (low and slowly rising prevalence), where STI treatment services are poor and where STIs are highly prevalent. There is no evidence for substantial benefit from treatment of all community members. The addition of the Kamali trial to the existing evidence supports the data from the Rakai trial of no effect. There are, however, other compelling reasons why STI treatment services should be strengthened, and the available evidence suggests that when an intervention is accepted it can substantially improve quality of services provided. The Kamali trial shows an increase in the use of condoms, a marker for improved risk behaviors. Further community-based randomised controlled trials that test a range of alternative STI control strategies are needed in a variety of different settings. Such trials should aim to measure a range of factors that include health seeking behaviour and quality of treatment, as well as HIV, STI and other biological endpoints.