Health Care

Gonorrhoea, syphilis rates jump among young Australians

Gonorrhoea, syphilis rates jump among young Australians”

The chlamydia rate among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is three times higher than in the non-Indigenous population, while the rate of gonorrhoea is seven times higher.

'Initiatives underway to address the syphilis resurgence include enhanced testing and treatment, and culturally appropriate health promotion campaigns, ' Ward said.

"Comprehensive strategies are needed to reduce STIs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples".

There are calls for access to HIV home-testing kits after 1000 new cases past year and for mail-in gonorrhoea tests as a result of a 63 per cent jump in the sexually transmitted infection.

Chlamydia was still reported as the most commonly diagnosed STI in Australia, with an estimated 154,000 men and 100,000 women aged between 15 and 29 with new chlamydia infections in 2016.

Three-quarters (75 per cent) of chlamydia notifications were among people aged 15-29 years.

"Rising rates in this group highlight the need for initiatives to raise awareness among clinicians and young people about the importance of testing."

Rates soared 72% for men and 43% for women.

In 2016, men experienced three-quarters of the near 24,000 cases of gonorrhoea.

More than half (55 per cent) of HIV cases were diagnosed late in heterosexuals.

30,434 were cured of hepatitis C in 2016. Associate Professor Ben Cowie, director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis, Doherty Institute said that there was a significant gap between diagnosis of the chronic liver disease patients who have hepatitis B. This calls for further efforts he said.

Hepatitis B cases have declined overall by 27 per cent.

Although, over the past four years, gonorrhoea rates decreased by 17 per cent in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

20 per cent of HIV occurred as a result of heterosexual sex.

Meanwhile, health stakeholders again called for improved access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to help prevent the transmission of HIV.

The report recorded the highest level of HIV treatment to date, with 88% of HIV-positive gay and bisexual men reporting being on antiretroviral treatment.

The number of Australians diagnosed with gonorrhoea has increased by 63 per cent in the past five years, according to an annual report on STIs. They have called for culturally relevant sexual health programs in Indigenous communities. Some of the steps in prevention he added are "access to PrEP, and greater access to sterile needle and syringes, and drug dependence treatment for people who inject drugs".

"The new therapies have been game-changing for hepatitis C in Australia", says Associate Professor Jason Grebely from the Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program at the Kirby Institute.



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