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.

 

Community-level changes in condom use and uptake of HIV PrEP by gay and bisexual men in Melbourne and Sydney

Lancet HIV (2018). Published online 06 June 2018. doi: 10.1016/S2352-301830072-9.

Abstract:

Background

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been rapidly rolled out in large, publicly funded implementation projects in Victoria and New South Wales, Australia. Using behavioural surveillance of gay and bisexual men, we analysed the uptake and effect of PrEP, particularly on condom use by gay and bisexual men not using PrEP.

Methods

We collected data from the Melbourne and Sydney Gay Community Periodic Surveys (GCPS), cross-sectional surveys of adult gay and bisexual men in Melbourne, VIC, and Sydney, NSW. Recruitment occurred at gay venues or events and online. Eligible participants were 18 years or older (face-to-face recruitment) or 16 years or older (online recruitment), identified as male (including transgender participants who identified as male); and having had sex with a man in the past 5 years or identified as gay or bisexual, or both. Using multivariate logistic regression, we assessed trends in condom use, condomless anal intercourse with casual partners (CAIC), and PrEP use by gay and bisexual men, controlling for sample variation over time.

Findings

Between Jan 1, 2013, and March 31, 2017, 27 011 participants completed questionnaires in the Melbourne (n=13 051) and Sydney (n=13 960) GCPS. 16 827 reported sex with casual male partners in the 6 months before survey and were included in these analyses. In 2013, 26 (1%) of 2692 men reported CAIC and were HIV-negative and using PrEP, compared with 167 (5%) of 3660 men in 2016 and 652 (16%) of 4018 men in 2017 (p<0·0001). Consistent condom use was reported by 1360 (46%) of 2692 men in 2013, 1523 (42%) of 3660 men in 2016, and 1229 (31%) of 4018 men in 2017 (p<0·0001). In 2013, 800 (30%) of 2692 men who were HIV-negative or untested and not on PrEP reported CAIC, compared with 1118 (31%) of 3660 men in 2016, and 1166 (29%) of 4018 in 2017 (non-significant trend).

Interpretation

A rapid increase in PrEP use by gay and bisexual men in Melbourne and Sydney was accompanied by an equally rapid decrease in consistent condom use. Other jurisdictions should consider the potential for community-level increases in CAIC when modelling the introduction of PrEP and in monitoring its effect.

Syphilis jumps to WA: doctors say ‘complacent’ safe sex attitudes to blame

ABC News, 17/03/2018

Some sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in Western Australia, with Aboriginal communities in the north hit particularly hard by a syphilis outbreak.

Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid said Aboriginal people in the north had been failed.

“It’s really sad that we’ve actually had and outbreak of syphilis that started in north Queensland that’s gone right across the north of Australia, through the Northern Territory and into the Kimberley through our Aboriginal populations,” Dr Khorshid said.

“In this day and age, in a medical system that’s had a cure for that condition for many decades, the fact we are still seeing an outbreak of such an easily treated infectious disease really says a lot about our failure as a community to deal with the health issues in our Aboriginal communities.”

 

 

WHO launches new treatment guidelines for chlamydia, gonorrhoea & syphilis

World Health Organisation, 30 August 2016

STIs present a major burden of disease and negatively affect people’s well-being across the globe. Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are three STIs which are all caused by bacteria and which can potentially be cured by antibiotics. Unfortunately, these STIs often go undiagnosed and due to antibiotic resistance, they are also becoming increasingly difficult to treat.

WHO has today launched new treatment guidelines to help address this issue. Based on the latest available evidence, the guidelines share new recommendations on the most effective treatments for these curable sexually transmitted infections.