Can you get gonorrhoea from kissing?

ABC Radio (Hack), 8th November 2017

In a troubling development, Melbourne researchers suspect gonorrhoea is being spread by kissing, overturning years of conventional wisdom.

Although it’s early days and not cause for alarm, there is evidence to suggest ‘throat-to-throat transmission’ may be driving the spread of gonorrhea in inner-city Australia.

It’s been generally understood you could only get gonorrhea by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea. Dr Vincent J Cornelisse, a sexual health physician and PhD candidate at Monash University, has been conducting research that challenges this idea.

Professor Basil Donovan, head of the Sexual Health Program at the Kirby Institute, told Hack the finding was “highly tenuous”. “You’ll need a lot more science before you put out a warning,” he said.

 

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The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost

The Conversation, August 10, 2017

Stigma is a mark of disgrace, a social discrediting, or a spoiled identity. For sex workers, legal, cultural and social discourse is characterised by “prurience, titillation, outrage and disgust”.

Narratives of sex work as undesirable and sex workers as disposable victims are heavily steeped in our cultural imagination.

Examining the individual and institutional treatment of sex workers reveals how sexuality is organised and stratified, and how certain kinds of intimacies are rewarded or punished.

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LGBTQ Homelessness Research Project: Final Report

University of Melbourne / Swinburne University of Technology, September 2017

Whilst there is mounting evidence that the risk of and potential consequences of homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer or questioning (LGBTIQ) people are heightened compared to the general population, there has been limited systematic research in Australia to inform a more targeted response.

Australia lags behind similarly advanced democracies in developing research, policy and best practice in the area of LGBTIQ homelessness. Major gaps in Australia include research on older LGBTIQ adults’ experiences of homelessness, longitudinal studies, comparisons between sub-groups, comparisons between rural/regional and urban areas, and the development of best practice guidelines.

This report documents a mixed methods research study, the aims of which were to:

  • Identify major contributors and pathways into and out of homelessness for LGBTIQ people;
  • Investigate their experiences of current homelessness service provision;
  • Examine current practice (including data collection) and best practice to ensure homelessness services are LGBTIQ inclusive; and
  • Make the project findings available to influence homelessness and mental health policy initiatives, services, and training on specific issues for LGBTIQ people.

In this study, we conceptualise that LGBTIQ inequalities in homelessness largely emerge from the structural stigma of community norms and institutional policies that embed heteronormative and homophobic, biphobic or transphobic prejudices in everyday practice.  We also regard silence on LGBTIQ populations in policies to be a
form of structural stigma.

 

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Australia’s Annual Report Card on STIs and blood-borne viruses

Kirby Institute, Monday, 6 November 2017

Gonorrhoea and syphilis diagnoses are increasing in Australia, HIV is stable, and more than 30,000 Australians have been cured of hepatitis C, according to the latest Annual Surveillance Report on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in Australia, released today by the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney.

The latest data shows that gonorrhoea has increased by 63% over the past five years, with particular rises among young heterosexual people in major cities.

Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, chlamydia and gonorrhoea rates were three and seven times higher than in the non-Indigenous population and the gaps were greater in regional and remote areas. Since 2011, there has been a resurgence of infectious syphilis among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in regional and remote areas of Northern Australia.

The report shows that HIV diagnoses have remained stable in Australia for the past five years, with 1,013 new diagnoses in 2016. However, gaps in testing remain, particularly among heterosexual people.  The report indicates that HIV diagnoses among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have increased by 39% since 2012, with a greater proportion of diagnoses due to injecting drug use and heterosexual sex, compared to non-Indigenous populations.

Between March and December 2016, an estimated 30,434 people have been cured of hepatitis C due to the availability of new direct acting antiviral therapy for hepatitis C.  The report also shows that only 63% of the estimated 230,000 people living with chronic hepatitis B in Australia by the end of 2016 were diagnosed. Of those, only 27% were having appropriate clinical monitoring tests for their infection. But a decline in hepatitis B diagnoses is evident in younger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people, and newly diagnosed cases in the the non-Indigenous population remained stable.

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Evidence-Informed Public Health: resources and information

National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (Canada), 2017

Evidence-Informed Public Health is the process of distilling and disseminating the best available evidence from research, context and experience, and using that evidence to inform and improve public health practice and policy.

Put simply, it means finding, using and sharing what works in public health.

Canada’s NCCMT has a range of tools and resources on Evidence-Informed Public Health,  from factsheets to online learning modules.

  • Access EIPH resources here 
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