Updated Guidelines: Australian STI & HIV Testing Guidelines 2019 for Asymptomatic MSM

Sexually Transmissible Infections in Gay Men Action Group (STIGMA), September 2019

Most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are asymptomatic. Testing and treatment of asymptomatic men who have sex with men (MSM) is the most effective method to interrupt transmission and reduce the burden of illness. In particular, syphilis is increasingly common, is often asymptomatic, and can cause significant morbidity.

The main barriers to STI control are insufficient frequency of testing in MSM, and incomplete testing. For example, chlamydia and gonorrhoea tests should be performed at all three sites (swab of oropharynx and anorectum, and first
pass urine), and syphilis serology should be performed every time a HIV test or HIV treatment monitoring is performed.

HIV is now a medically preventable infection. All men who are eligible under the Australian HIV Pre-Exposure guidelines should be actively offered PrEP: www.ashm.org.au/HIV/PrEP All people with HIV should be advised to commence treatment and, where possible, have an undetectable viral load.
These guidelines are intended for all MSM, including trans men who have sex with other men .

This current version is endorsed by the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Sexual Health Medicine, Australasian Sexual Health Alliance, Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and is approved as an accepted clinical resource by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Kissing may be an important and neglected risk factor for oropharyngeal gonorrhoea

Kissing may be an important and neglected risk factor for oropharyngeal gonorrhoea: a cross-sectional study in men who have sex with men

Chow EPFCornelisse VJWilliamson DA, et al

Abstract:

Objectives A mathematical model suggested that a significant proportion of oropharyngeal gonorrhoea cases are acquired via oropharynx-to-oropharynx transmission (ie, tongue-kissing), but to date, no empirical study has investigated this. This study aimed to examine the association between kissing and oropharyngeal gonorrhoea among gay and bisexual men who have sex with men (MSM).

Methods MSM attending a public sexual health centre in Melbourne, Australia, between March 2016 and February 2017 were invited to participate in a brief survey that collected data on their number of male partners in the last 3 months, in three distinct categories: kissing-only (ie, no sex including no oral and/or anal sex), sex-only (ie, any sex without kissing), and kissing-with-sex (ie, kissing with any sex). Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to examine associations between oropharyngeal gonorrhoea positivity by nucleic acid amplification tests and the three distinct partner categories.

Results A total of 3677 men completed the survey and were tested for oropharyngeal gonorrhoea. Their median age was 30 (IQR 25–37) and 6.2% (n=229) had oropharyngeal gonorrhoea. Men had a mean number of 4.3 kissing-only, 1.4 sex-only, and 5.0 kissing-with-sex partners in the last 3 months. Kissing-only and kissing-with-sex were associated with oropharyngeal gonorrhoea, but sex-only was not. The adjusted odds for having oropharyngeal gonorrhoea were 1.46-fold (95% CI 1.04 to 2.06) for men with ≥4 kissing-only partners and 1.81-fold (95% CI 1.17 to 2.79) for men with ≥4 kissing-with-sex partners.

Conclusions These data suggest that kissing may be associated with transmission of oropharyngeal gonorrhoea in MSM, irrespective of whether sex also occurs.

STI/BBV testing tool for asymptomatic people

NSW STI Programs Unit, ASHM & Qld. Govt.,  2019

This resource has charts and information about how routine STI/BBV testing can be offered, who to, and how to follow up.

Developed by NSW STI Programs Unit, NSW Australia, and reproduced with permission by the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, ASHM and Communicable Diseases Branch.

 

 

STIs among transgender men and women attending Australian sexual health clinics

Med J Aust. 2019 Aug 29. doi: 10.5694/mja2.50322. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

Objectives

To estimate rates of HIV infection, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and infectious syphilis in transgender men and women in Australia; to compare these rates with those for cisgender people.

Design

Cross‐sectional, comparative analysis of de‐identified health data.

Setting, participants

We analysed data for 1260 transgender people (404 men, 492 women, 364 unrecorded gender), 78 108 cisgender gay and bisexual men, and 309 740 cisgender heterosexual people who attended 46 sexual health clinics across Australia during 2010–2017.

Main outcome measures

First‐visit test positivity for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), stratified by patient group and year; demographic and behavioural factors associated with having STIs.

Results

14 of 233 transgender men (6.0%) and 34 of 326 transgender women (10%) tested during first clinic visits were chlamydia‐positive; nine transgender men (4%) and 28 transgender women (8.6%) were gonorrhoea‐positive. One of 210 tested transgender men (0.5%) and ten of 324 tested transgender women (3.1%) were diagnosed with infectious syphilis; 14 transgender men (3.5%) and 28 transgender women (5.7%) were HIV‐positive at their first visit. The only significant change in prevalence of an STI among transgender patients during the study period was the increased rate of gonorrhoea among transgender women (from 3.1% to 9.8%). Compared with cisgender gay and bisexual men, transgender men were less likely (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.46; 95% CI, 0.29–0.71; P = 0.001) and transgender women as likely (aOR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.73–1.32; P = 0.92) to be diagnosed with a bacterial STI; compared with heterosexual patients, transgender men were as likely (aOR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.46–1.13; P = 0.16) and transgender women more likely (aOR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.16–2.10; P = 0.003) to receive a first‐visit bacterial STI diagnosis.

Conclusions

The epidemiology of STIs in transgender people attending Australian sexual health clinics differs from that of cisgender patients. Gender details must be captured by health data systems to facilitate appropriate delivery of sexual health care.

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.

 

Experts debate whether kissing is to blame for gonorrhoea spread

Sydney Morning Herald, July 18, 2019 — 2.00am

The long-held position of sexual health experts is that gonorrhoea is transmitted by the penis, but an Australian researcher is studying the possibility the infection can be spread by kissing.

At the STI and HIV World Conference in Vancouver on Thursday, Professor Kit Fairley from Monash University will be arguing his case in a debate with Professor Emeritus H. Hunter Handsfield from the University of Washington.