Modeling Public Health Campaigns for Sexually Transmitted Infections via Optimal and Feedback Control

  • Ariel CamachoEmail author
  • Fernando Saldaña
  • Ignacio Barradas
  • Silvia Jerez
Original Article


Control of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) poses important challenges to public health authorities. Obstacles for STIs’ control include low priority in public health programs and disease transmission mechanisms. This work uses a compartmental pair model to explore different public health strategies on the evolution of STIs. Optimal control and feedback control are used to model realistic strategies for reducing the prevalence of these infections. Feedback control is proposed to model the reaction of public health authorities relative to an alert level. Optimal control is used to model the optimization of available resources for implementing strategies. Numerical simulations are performed using trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and human papillomavirus (HPV) as study cases. HPV is non-curable, and it is analyzed only under transmission control such as condom promotion campaigns. Trichomoniasis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are curable STIs that are modeled here additionally under treatment control. Increased cost-effectiveness ratio is employed as a criterion to measure control strategies performance. The features and drawbacks of control strategies under the pair formation process are discussed.


Pair model Optimal control Feedback control Sexually transmitted infections 



We appreciate the invaluable feedback from the anonymous reviewers that improved this work. AC and FS acknowledge Mexico CONACyT for the Graduate Fellowship Grants 412803 and 331194, respectively. This work was partially supported by Mexico CONACyT Project CB2016-286437. Finally, we also express our gratitude to Dr. Janet Mary Izzo for revising the manuscript.

Code availability

The MATLAB and Python codes used to run the simulations in this work may be found in

Supplementary material

11538_2019_642_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3.9 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 4016 KB)


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Copyright information

© Society for Mathematical Biology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Investigación en MatemáticasGuanajuatoMexico

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