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.

 

The Aboriginal Gender Study

Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia, 2019

Partnering with the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, the Aboriginal Gender Study aimed to explore, from a strengths-based perspective, the diversity of contemporary perspectives of gender, gender roles and gender equity in South Australian Aboriginal communities.

The project addressed three overall questions comprising:

1. What is the current evidence about gender roles and gender equity in the Australian
literature and Australian policy documents regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people?

2. What is the current understanding of gender roles and relationships in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities?

3. What might gender equity/fairness look like for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, adults, families and communities?

For findings and recommendations, please see report:

 

HIV diagnoses in Australia drop to lowest number in 18 years: report

Kirby Institute, July 3rd, 2019

Australia continues to lead the world in HIV prevention and in 2018 recorded the lowest number of HIV diagnoses since 2001.

According to a report released today by the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney, last year there were 835 HIV diagnoses across the country, which represents a decline of 23% over five years.

The declines reported today are largely due to reductions in the number of HIV diagnoses that are reported as attributable to sex between men. Over the past five years, HIV diagnoses have reduced by 30% among this population.

The report reveals no declines among heterosexual populations, with new diagnoses relatively stable among this group.

Similarly, there have been no declines in HIV diagnoses among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer Men’s Attitudes and Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault

Sorting it out: Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer Men’s Attitudes and Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault

Sexualities and Genders Research (SaGR), Western Sydney University & ACON, May 2019

This research on Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (GBTIQ) men’s attitudes and experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual assault (SA) was undertaken in 2017-2018.

Sexualities and Genders Research (SaGR), at Western Sydney University was commissioned to undertake the survey by ACON (formerly known as AIDS Council of New South Wales), who collaborated in the survey design and analysis. An online survey was completed by 895 GBTIQ-identifying men, primarily focusing on IPV in same-sex relationships.

However, the survey included questions about SA, with some men providing additional
information on SA in the open-ended questions in the survey.

The survey did not ask specific questions about criminal victimisation or perpetration in relationships but was instead focused on men’s views and experiences of healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Overview of findings:
• GBTIQ men want healthy and safe relationships for themselves, their friends and community.
• GBTIQ men are certain about the illegality and unacceptability of sexual assault and
domestic violence

Drug and alcohol report uncovers burden in regional Australia

ABC Central West, 15/03/2019

A report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has revealed alarming statistics about drug and alcohol use in regional Australia, and the difficulties faced by those seeking treatment.

The report found a 41 per cent increase in drug-induced deaths in regional and remote areas in the decade to 2017, compared to a 16 per cent spike in major cities.

Researchers said this could be attributed to opioid overdoses.

The report found there was a higher rate of people seeking drug and alcohol treatment in regional and remote communities in 2016–17, but they were likely to travel one hour or more to receive treatment.

It also said people in country areas were more likely to smoke, drink heavily, use drugs, and avoid exercise.

Understanding LGBTI+ Lives in Crisis (Report)

Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University & Lifeline Australia, February 2019

This research report presents findings of lesbian (L), gay (G), bisexual (B), transgender (T), intersex people (I), and other sexual identity and gender diverse individuals (+) use of crisis support services (CSS) in Australia.

This is the first research of its kind in Australia that explores the needs of LGBTI+ people during a time of personal or mental health crises. It focuses on their uptake and familiarity with crisis support services in Australia, their perceptions and experiences with crisis support services, and where they might seek other professional mental health service support during a time of crisis.

This study enhances the evidence base for those working to design, resource or deliver services to meet the needs of LGBTI people in Australia during times of crisis.