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.

What Is the Optimal Time to Retest Patients With a Urogenital Chlamydia Infection? (RCT)

Sex Transm Dis. 2018 Feb;45(2):132-137. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000706.

BACKGROUND:

Chlamydia trachomatis is a common, often recurring sexually transmitted infection, with serious adverse outcomes in women. Current guidelines recommend retesting after a chlamydia infection, but the optimum timing is unknown. We assessed the optimal retest interval after urogenital chlamydia treatment.

METHODS:

A randomized controlled trial among urogenital chlamydia nucleic acid amplification test positive heterosexual clients of the Amsterdam sexually transmitted infection clinic. After treatment, patients were randomly assigned for retesting 8, 16, or 26 weeks later. Patients could choose to do this at home (and send a self-collected sample by mail) or at the clinic. Retest uptake and chlamydia positivity at follow-up were calculated.

RESULTS:

Between May 2012 and March 2013, 2253 patients were included (45% men; median age, 23 years; interquartile range, 21-26). The overall uptake proportion within 35 weeks after the initial visit was significantly higher in the 8-week group (77%) compared with the 16- and 26-week groups (67% and 64%, respectively, P < 0.001), and the positivity proportions among those retested were comparable (P = 0.169). The proportion of people with a diagnosed recurrent chlamydia infection among all randomized was similar between the groups (n = 69 [8.6%], n = 52 [7.4%], and n = 69 [9.3%]; P = 0.4).

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with a recent urogenital chlamydia are at high risk of recurrence of chlamydia and retesting them is an effective way of detecting chlamydia cases. We recommend inviting patients for a re-test 8 weeks after the initial diagnosis and treatment.

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Gene sequencing offers way to beat global spread of gonorrhoea

Oxford University, 12 July 2016

With drug-resistant strains of sexually-transmitted infection gonorrhoea increasing, scientists from Brighton, Oxford University and Public Health England have found that genetic sequencing can track the spread of infection. They show coordinated national and international strategies are required to stop drug-resistance spreading further.

Their study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and the NIHR Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU), is published in The Lancet Infectious Disease.

Read more here