Vaccine for Meningitis Shows Some Protection Against Gonorrhea

New Zealand Family Planning

Some strains of the bacterium that cause gonorrhoea are now resistant to all available antibiotics. With no new drugs on the near horizon, the disease is in desperate need of a vaccine.

Our research, published in the Lancet medical journal this week, shows that protection against gonorrhoea could come from an unexpected source – a vaccine against meningococcal group B disease.

 

 

 

STI/HIV testing tool for GPs and other primary care clinicians – updated

NSW STI Programs Unit, August 2017

The STI/HIV Testing Tool for GPs and other primary care clinicians has been updated. The tool shows how to:

• Offer routine STI/HIV testing in different consultations

• Conduct a brief risk assessment (sexual history)

• Conduct routine STI/HIV testing

• Conduct contact tracing

• Access available resources and additional support

Based on the Australian STI Management Guidelines, the tool has been developed by GPs with an interest in sexual health, sexual health and public health specialists. The tool is approved by peak bodies including the Royal Australian College of General Practice and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

Sexually active older Australian’s knowledge of STIs & safer sexual practices

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2017  doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12655

Lyons, A., Heywood, W., Fileborn, B., Minichiello, V., Barrett, C., Brown, G., Hinchliff, S., Malta, S. and Crameri, P.

Abstract:

Objective: Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are rising among older Australians. We conducted a large survey of older people’s knowledge of STIs and safer sexual practices.

Methods: A total of 2,137 Australians aged 60 years and older completed the survey, which included 15 questions assessing knowledge of STIs and safer sexual practices. We examined both levels of knowledge and factors associated with an overall knowledge score.

Results: In total, 1,652 respondents reported having sex in the past five years and answered all knowledge questions. This group had good general knowledge but poorer knowledge in areas such as the protection offered by condoms and potential transmission modes for specific STIs. Women had better knowledge than men. Men in their 60s, men with higher education levels, and men who thought they were at risk of STIs reported better knowledge than other men. Knowledge was also better among men and women who had been tested for STIs or reported ‘other’ sources of knowledge on STIs.

Conclusions: Many older Australians lack knowledge of STIs and safer sexual practices.

Implications for public health: To reverse current trends toward increasing STI diagnoses in this population, policies and education campaigns aimed at improving knowledge levels may need to be considered.

  • Access full text (open access) here 

Interactive infographics illustrating spike in Indigenous STI/BBV rates

The following article contains interactive in infographics illustrating Indigenous rates of STIs/BBVs, compared to the non-Indigenous population. The graphic can be adjusted to display chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhoea, HIV & hepatitis B. 

‘A national shame’: Spike in Indigenous STI rates prompts call for urgent action  (scroll down for graphics)

 

 

Future prospects for new vaccines against STIs

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases, February 2017 – Volume 30 – Issue 1 – p 77–86
This review provides an update on the need, development status, and important next steps for advancing development of vaccines against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including herpes simplex virus (HSV), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea), Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia), and Treponema pallidum (syphilis).

Major progress is being made in addressing the large global unmet need for STI vaccines. With continued collaboration and support, these critically important vaccines for global sexual and reproductive health can become a reality.

  • Full text (open access) available here

STI rates in PrEP users very high, but evidence that PrEP increases them is inconclusive

nam/aidsmap, Published: 22 February 2017
A study of PrEP users presented last week showed that PrEP users had very high rates of STI diagnosis – in the order of 20 times higher than among HIV-negative gay men in the general population. The evidence that STIs increased further while people were on PrEP was, however, a lot more ambiguous.
The problem in proving that PrEP has any causal relationship to STIs is that STIs among gay men were, in general, rising before well before PrEP, and also that PrEP usually involves regular testing for HIV and STIs. Since many STIs are asymptomatic and self-limiting, more tests will result in more diagnoses.
Read more here