New report: Surveillance of STIs and Blood-Borne Viruses in South Australia, 2018

Communicable Disease Control Branch, SA Health, July 2019

In 2018, there were 8,556 new notifications of STI and BBV in South Australia. This represents a 3% increase in the number of new notifications compared to notifications received in 2017.

In 2018, there were 6,256 notifications of Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia) making this the most commonly notified STI in South Australia. The demographics of people diagnosed with chlamydia have remained relatively stable over the past five
years.

There were no notifications of donovanosis in 2018.

There were 1,288 notifications of gonorrhoea in 2018. The notification rate of gonorrhoea increased from 45 per 100,000 population in 2014 to 74 per 100,000 population in 2017 and 2018. The rate in the Aboriginal population was 813 per 100,000 population in 2018 compared to 55 per 100,000 population in the non-Indigenous population.

There were 203 notifications of infectious syphilis in 2018, the highest number of annual notifications in the past 10 years. The notification rate of infectious syphilis in 2018 was 11.7 per 100,000 population, more than double the rate in 2016 of 5.2 per 100,000 population. In 2018, 88% of notifications were in males, the majority being among men who have sex with men (MSM) (75%). Infectious syphilis remains high in the Aboriginal population. There were no notifications of congenital syphilis in 2018.

There were 39 new diagnoses of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in 2018. Thirty-two of the 39 notifications were in males (82%). In 2018, 63% of male cases reported male-to-male sex. Six females acquired their infection overseas and one in South Australia.

There were four notifications of newly acquired hepatitis B infection in 2018, below the five year average (2013-2017) of eight cases per year. There were no notifications in the Aboriginal population. There were 254 notifications of unspecified hepatitis B infection reported in 2018, a decrease compared to the five year average (2013-2017) of 325 cases per year. The notification rate has declined in the Aboriginal population over the past five years.

There were 41 notifications of newly acquired hepatitis C in 2018. Sixty-one per cent of cases were males, and 66% were aged 30 years and over. The notification rate of unspecified hepatitis C infection was 22.2 per 100,000 population in 2018, with a
total of 385 notifications in 2018 compared to 465 in 2017.

There were five new diagnoses of hepatitis D infection in 2018, below the five year average (2013-2017) of 9.8 cases per year.

 

STI’S on the rise in SA – free campaign resources (SHINE SA media release)

SHINE SA, April 2, 2019

Sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates are on the rise in South Australia, with around 1 in 20 young people infected with chlamydia¹. Left untreated chlamydia can lead to infection of the reproductive systems and long term consequences. Having one STI also increases the risk of being infected with another. As such it’s important that young people in SA are encouraged to practise safer sex as well as getting a sexual health check.

In response to this rise in STIs, SHINE SA is excited to announce the launch of their Sexual Health Check campaign and related resources for use across South Australia. These resources can be used by organisations including universities, secondary schools, youth services, general practice and community health services.

The Sexual Health Check campaign aims to raise awareness of STIs as well as highlight how easy it is to get a sexual health check.
According to the most recent epidemiological report released by SA Health in 2017, STI and blood borne viruses (BBVs) have jumped 14% compared to the previous five years.

In 2017:

  • there were 8,181 new infections of STIs and BBVs, this is a 7% increase compared to 2016
  • 77% of infections were in people aged 15 to 29 years.

SHINE SA encourages young people to receive a sexual health check at a SHINE SA clinic, their local doctor or Aboriginal Health service. SHINE SA offers FREE sexual health checks as well as counselling to South Australians under the age of 30 with a Medicare Card.

Dr Amy Moten, SHINE SA’s Coordinator of Medical Education said:
“STIs are on the rise, so practicing safer sex and having regular testing is vital. Left untreated, serious infection may occur and lead to complications such as infertility, chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancy. As most people don’t have any symptoms, lack of testing contributes to the continued spread of the disease”.

SHINE SA hopes other health and education organisations and media outlets can assist by promoting and sharing the Sexual Health Check campaign. By doing so we can help raise awareness of STIs in the community and encourage young people to access sexual heath checks.

  • The free campaign resources including a Sexual Health + STIs FAQ booklet, posters and social media tiles can be downloaded here
  • For further information contact Tracey Hutt, Director Workforce Education and Development, by email here 
  • Download this media release

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¹ http://www.sti.guidelines.org.au/populations-and-situations/young-people

 

 

STIs in remote Australia

ABC Health Report, Monday 18 March 2019 5:45 PM

Leading Aboriginal researcher Associate Professor James Ward* is calling for action in remote Australia to deal with a preventable epidemic of sexually transmissible infections — including syphilis — in a population that’s no more sexually active than non-Indigenous people of the same age.  

He joined Dr Norman Swan’s Health Report on ABC RN.

Later this month James will present to the National Rural Health Conference about addressing sexually transmitted infections in remote Australia.

*James Ward is Associate Professor, Flinders University; & Head of Infectious Diseases Research, Aboriginal Health, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. 

 

 

‘Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health’ Program: Country South Australia

SHINE SA, March 2019

With rising national rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and in particular chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, it’s important that SHINE SA support those at the frontline of diagnosis and prevention – general practitioners. SHINE SA has recently been funded by Country SA PHN to deliver a program to support rural and regional health workers.

The Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health Program aims to help build capacity and skills around sexual health through education, personalised support and information.

Education and training will be offered in regional areas of South Australia and will focus on addressing the current syphilis outbreak and the ongoing chlamydia epidemic.

RAINING AND EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES

Through this program SHINE SA will provide opportunities for information, resources, education and training. These opportunities can be both formal and informal depending on needs.

This will include:

  • evening education session/s (see below)
  • webinar and case presentations
  • personalised support including telephone advice
  • information for health practices located in the region
  • increasing access to formal certificate qualifications where relevant

SHINE SA is currently applying for RACGP QI/CPD points for the regional evening education sessions.

REGIONS

This program will reach the following regions:

  • Murray Mallee Region
  • Lower North
  • Mid North & Yorke Peninsula
  • Whyalla
  • Barossa

General practitioners, nurses and/or midwives, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Aboriginal Health Workers in these regions are encouraged to express interest in receiving training from SHINE SA.

COST

FREE! There is no cost for education and training for those eligible.

TO PARTICIPATE

To express interest in this program please fill out the form here:
Expressions of Interest – Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health Program

You can also enrol in the free education sessions:

Sexually Transmitted Infections – Strategies For General Practice
These sessions will give an update of STIs focusing on the current syphilis outbreak and the ongoing chlamydia epidemic.

For any further questions please contact SHINE SA’s Program Lead: Edwina Jachimowicz via email 

COURSE DATES

Murray Bridge – Sexually Transmitted Infections – Strategies for General Practice

Date: 10 April 2019
Time: 6:15pm registration, 6:45 dinner served, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Location:  Adelaide Road Motor Lodge, 212 Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge SA 5253
Status: Open

ENROL NOW

Berri – Sexually Transmitted Infections – Strategies for General Practice

Date: 02 May 2019
Time: 6:15pm registration, 6:45 dinner served, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Location: Berri Hotel,Riverview Drive, Berri SA 5343
Status: Open

Expressions of Interest – Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health Program: Country South Australia

Date: 15 June 2019
Status: Open

EXPRESS INTEREST NOW

Why National Condom Day might be more important than Valentine’s Day: media release

SHINE SA Media Release, 13 February 2019

National Condom Day is 14 February, a day to promote healthy sexual relationships and encourage the use of condoms. Condoms are not only a form of contraception but are also able to protect against STIs. With national rates of STIs rising it’s important that people understand the benefits of condoms.

The benefits of condoms include reducing the risk of unplanned pregnancy and reducing the risk of STIs. They are also available without prescription and are easy to obtain.

Natasha Miliotis SHINE SA’s Chief Executive said:

“Valentine’s Day is also National Condom Day – which reminds us that around one in five young people have chlamydia, but up to 75% will have no symptoms.  Condoms and regular testing protect you and your sexual partner against STIs. We encourage all young people to use condoms as well as get regular sexual health checks from a GP or at our SHINE SA clinics.”

SHINE SA has free condoms at our clinic reception desks and offer free sexual health checks for people under 30.

Update on Sexually Transmitted Infections: forum recording now available

SHINE SA, 17/1/2019

SHINE SA is pleased to present the following Clinical Education Forum on the topic of sexually transmitted infections. This recording is available free of charge, and access is limited to three months only.

This forum covers current trends in sexually transmitted infections and includes recent updates to the Australian STI Management Guidelines for Use in Primary Care.

Presenter: Dr Tonia Mezzini, Sexual Health Physician.

Recording length: 1 hour 25 minutes.

CPD points are awarded on completion of this forum.

To watch the recording click here and sign in – or set up a new account at https://shinesa.trainingvc.com.au/Under ‘Course Categories’ click Clinical Education to find the course STI Update, and then click Enrol Me.