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Read P.J.,Kirketon Road Center | Read P.J.,University of New South Wales | Guy R.,University of New South Wales | Jeoffreys N.,Institute for Clinical Pathology and Medical Research | And 4 more authors.
Sexual Health | Year: 2015

Background Syphilis is resurgent among gay and bisexual men (GBM) despite effective treatment and widely available diagnostic serology. The polymerase chain reaction assay for Treponema pallidum (TP-PCR) is available, but little is known about the clinical features and outcomes for patients testing positive by TP-PCR. Methods: Clinical data were collected from four medical practices for patients recording a positive TP-PCR result between 2004 and 2011. Demographic, serological, treatment and reinfection details were obtained. Results were stratified by HIV status and whether treatment conformed to international guidelines. Results: 220 patients were positive for TP-PCR, of whom 92% were GBM. Seventeen (8.1%) were positive by TP-PCR before seroconversion. Almost one-third (32.1%) received treatment beyond that recommended in guidelines, and this was associated with HIV status (40.3% HIV positive vs 22.4% HIV negative, P<0.01). All but one patient with adequate follow up achieved serological cure. There was no significant difference in time to serological cure between the groups receiving standard therapy or enhanced therapy (95 vs 108 days; P≤0.67) or between HIV positive and negative patients (93 vs 104 days, P≤0.06). Nineteen patients were reinfected during follow up. Conclusion: TP-PCR aids early diagnosis of syphilis and may be reactive before conventional serological tests. Treatment outcomes for TP-PCR-positive early infection were excellent, but a significant proportion of patients received non-standard therapy. Expanded use of syphilis PCR testing in at-risk populations is recommended since early identification and treatment is likely to be important in controlling the current epidemic in GBM. © 2015 CSIRO.


Ryder N.,Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Unit | Woods H.,Far Western and Western New South Wales Local Health Districts | McKay K.,Far Western and Western New South Wales Local Health Districts | Giddings N.,Far Western and Western New South Wales Local Health Districts | And 5 more authors.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases | Year: 2012

Background: Trichomonas has been reported to be rare in Australia's major cities while remaining very common in some extremely remote Aboriginal communities. This study examined the Trichomonas prevalence and relationship to remoteness among patients attending sexual health clinics in rural and remote areas of New South Wales, Australia. Methods: During the period 2009 to June 2010, all women attending sexual health clinics in the Western and Far Western Local Health Districts of New South Wales who agreed to sexually transmitted infection testing were offered Trichomonas testing using an in-house polymerase chain reaction test. Overall prevalence was calculated, and logistic regression was used to determine association with remoteness of residency. Results: Of the 506 women attending during the study period, 356 (70%) were tested. Thirty women (8.4%) tested positive to Trichomonas. Trichomonas infection was independently associated with increasing age, being symptomatic, never having had a previous Papanicolaou smear, and remote residency. Conclusions: The prevalence of Trichomonas was relatively high among women attending sexual health clinics in rural and remote western New South Wales. Trichomonas was more common among women living more remotely, which may reflect population-level health service use. Testing for Trichomonas should be considered for all women requesting testing for sexually transmitted infections in rural and remote Australia. © 2012 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.All rights reserved.


Fox P.,Westmead Hospital | Balleine R.L.,Westmead Hospital | Balleine R.L.,Institute for Clinical Pathology and Medical Research | Balleine R.L.,University of Sydney | And 27 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2016

Purpose: Endoxifen is the major mediator of tamoxifen effect and endoxifen levels <15 nmol/L may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer recurrence. We increased tamoxifen dose in breast cancer patients with low endoxifen levels and assessed the influence of various parameters on reaching 15 nmol/L and 30 nmol/L endoxifen levels. Experimental Design: Tamoxifen dose was increased in those with endoxifen levels below 30 nmol/L. Toxicity, including hot flash score, was measured. CYP2D6 metabolizer status was classified as ultra-rapid (UM), extensive (EM), intermediate (IM), or poor (PM) based genotype of somatic DNA. Results: Dosage was escalated in 68 of 122 participants. On 20 mg tamoxifen, 24% had endoxifen levels below 15 nmol/L and this reduced to 6% following dose escalation. In over 50% of cases, there was no identified cause for low endoxifen. Low baseline endoxifen level, and not CYP2D6 metabolizer status, independently predicted reaching threshold targets for both the 15 nmol/L and 30 nmol/L targets (P = 0.04 and 0.003 respectively). The 15 nmol/L target was reached in all UM/EM and IM patients, 63% of PM patients, and 58% of those with baseline endoxifen of <10 nmol/L. There was no correlation between hot flash score and genotype or any tamoxifen metabolite level including endoxifen (R = 0.07). Conclusions: Low endoxifen on standard dose tamoxifen was the only independent predictor of failure to achieve potentially therapeutic levels. Trials examining tamoxifen dose escalation and breast cancer outcome should be guided by endoxifen levels alone, without reference to CYP2D6 genotype or presence of hot flashes. ©2016 AACR.


Conway D.P.,University of New South Wales | Conway D.P.,St George Hospital | Holt M.,University of New South Wales | Couldwell D.L.,Western Sydney Sexual Health Center | And 33 more authors.
Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2015

Introduction: HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men have increased over the past decade in Australia. HIV point-of-care testing (POCT) was introduced in Australia in 2011 as a strategy to increase HIV testing by making the testing process more convenient. We surveyed gay and bisexual men undergoing POCT to assess barriers to HIV testing and characteristics associated with not having previously tested for HIV (never testing). Methods: During 2011 and 2012, gay and bisexual men who were undergoing POCT at four Sydney sexual health clinics self-completed questionnaires assessing testing history and psychological and structural barriers to HIV testing. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to assess associations between patient characteristics and never testing. Results: Of 1093 participants, 981 (89.9%) reported ever testing for HIV and 110 (10.1%) never testing. At least one barrier to testing was reported by 1046 men (95.7%), with only 47 men (4.3%) not reporting any barrier to testing. The most commonly reported barriers to testing were annoyance at having to return for results (30.2%), not having done anything risky (29.6%), stress in waiting for results (28.4%), being afraid of testing positive (27.5%) and having tested recently (23.2%). Never testing was independently associated with being non-gay-identified (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1-3.2), being aged less than 25 years (AOR: 2.4; 95% CI: 1.6-3.8), living in a suburb with few gay couples (AOR: 1.9; 95% CI: 1.2-3.0), being afraid of testing HIV-positive (AOR: 1.6; 95% CI: 1.0-2.4), not knowing where to test (AOR: 3.8; 95% CI: 1.3-11.2) and reporting one or no sexual partners in the last six months (AOR: 2.7; 95% CI: 1.2-6.2). Conclusions: Barriers to HIV testing were commonly reported among the clinic-based gay and bisexual men in this study. Our findings suggest further health promotion and prevention strategies are needed to address the knowledge, attitudes and behavioural factors associated with never testing. © 2015 Conway DP et al.

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