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Ryder N.,Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Unit | Woods H.,HIV and Related Programmes | McKay K.,HIV and Related Programmes | Giddings N.,HIV and Related Programmes | 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.

Guy R.,University of New South Wales | Ward J.,Baker IDI Central Australia | Wand H.,University of New South Wales | Rumbold A.,University of Adelaide | And 12 more authors.
Sexually Transmitted Infections | Year: 2015

Objectives To determine the co-occurrence and epidemiological relationships of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) in a high-prevalence setting in Australia. Methods In the context of a cluster randomised trial in 68 remote Aboriginal communities, we obtained laboratory reports on simultaneous testing for CT, NG and TV by nucleic acid amplification tests in individuals aged ≤16 years and examined relationships between age and sex and the coinfection positivity. ORs were used to determine which infections were more likely to co-occur by demographic category. Results Of 13 480 patients (median age: 30 years; men: 37%) tested for all three infections during the study period, 33.3% of women and 21.3% of men had at least one of them, highest in patients aged 16-19 years (48.9% in women, 33.4% in men). The most frequent combination was CT/NG (2.0% of women, 4.1% of men), and 1.8% of women and 0.5% of men had all three. In all co-combinations, coinfection positivity was highest in patients aged 16-19 years. CT and NG were highly predictive of each other's presence, and TV was associated with each of the other two infections, but much more so with NG than CT, and its associations were much stronger in women than in men. Conclusions In this remote high-prevalence area, nearly half the patients aged 16-19 years had one or more sexually transmitted infections. CT and NG were more common dual infections. TV was more strongly associated with NG coinfections than with CT. These findings confirm the need for increased simultaneous screening for CT, NG and TV, and enhanced control strategies.

Silver B.J.,University of New South Wales | Guy R.J.,University of New South Wales | Wand H.,University of New South Wales | Ward J.,Baker IDI Central Australia | And 13 more authors.
Sexually Transmitted Infections | Year: 2015

Objectives: To undertake the first comprehensive analysis of the incidence of three curable sexually transmissible infections (STIs) within remote Australian Aboriginal populations and provide a basis for developing new control initiatives. Methods: We obtained all results for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) testing conducted during 2009-2011 in individuals aged ≥16 years attending 65 primary health services across central and northern Australia. Baseline prevalence and incidence of all three infections was calculated by sex and age group. Results: A total of 17 849 individuals were tested over 35 months. Baseline prevalence was 11.1%, 9.5% and 17.6% for CT, NG and TV, respectively. During the study period, 7171, 7439 and 4946 initially negative individuals had a repeat test for CT, NG and TV, respectively; these were followed for 6852, 6981 and 6621 person-years and 651 CT, 609 NG and 486 TV incident cases were detected. Incidence of all three STIs was highest in 16-year-olds to 19-year-olds compared with 35+ year olds (incident rate ratio: CT 10.9; NG 11.9; TV 2.5). In the youngest age group there were 23.4 new CT infections per 100 person-years for men and 29.2 for women; and 26.1 and 23.4 new NG infections per 100 person-years in men and women, respectively. TV incidence in this age group for women was also high, at 19.8 per 100 person-years but was much lower in men at 3.6 per 100 person-years. Conclusions: This study, the largest ever reported on the age and sex specific incidence of any one of these three curable infections, has identi fied extremely high rates of new infection in young people. Sexual health is a priority for remote communities, but will clearly need new approaches, at least intensification of existing approaches, if a reduction in rates is to be achieved. © 2015, BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

Hengel B.,Apunipima Cape York Health Council | Hengel B.,University of New South Wales | Maher L.,University of New South Wales | Garton L.,University of New South Wales | And 8 more authors.
Sexual Health | Year: 2015

Background Remote Aboriginal communities in Australia experience high rates of bacterial sexually transmissible infections (STIs). To control the transmission and decrease the risk of complications, frequent STI testing combined with timely treatment is required, yet significant delays in treatment have been reported. Perceived barriers to timely treatment for asymptomatic patients in remote communities were explored. Methods: A qualitative study was undertaken as part of the STRIVE (STIs in Remote communities, ImproVed and Enhanced primary health care) project; a cluster randomised controlled trial of a sexual health quality improvement program. During 2012, we conducted 36 in-depth interviews with staff in 22 clinics in remote Australia. Results: Participants included registered nurses (72%) and Aboriginal health practitioners (28%). A key barrier to timely treatment was infrequent transportation of specimens to laboratories often hundreds of kilometres away from clinics. Within clinics, there were delays checking and actioning test results, and under-utilisation of systems to recall patients. Participants also described difficulties in physically locating patients due to: (i) high mobility between communities; and (ii) low levels of community knowledge created by high staff turnover. Participants also suggested strategies to overcome some barriers such as dedicated clinical time to follow-up recalls and taking treatment out to patients. Conclusions: Participants identified barriers to timely STI treatment in remote Aboriginal communities, and systems to address some of the barriers. Innovative strategies such as point-of-care testing or increased support for actioning results, coupled with incentives to individual patients to attend for results, may also assist in decreasing the time to treatment. © CSIRO 2015.

Lallenec L.M.,Royal Darwin Hospital | Currie B.J.,Royal Darwin Hospital | Baird R.W.,Royal Darwin Hospital | Pitman M.,Royal Darwin Hospital | Ryder N.,Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Unit
Sexual Health | Year: 2015

Background To improve HIV detection, Royal Darwin Hospital implemented a guideline in 2012 recommending routine HIV testing for all adult acute medical admissions. This study aimed to determine the uptake, point prevalence and impact on late diagnosis of HIV screening following guideline implementation. Methods: Data on the number of HIV tests and number of acute medical admissions over the 8 months prior and post guideline implementation were extracted from hospital databases. A qualitative survey was conducted to ascertain clinician response to routine screening. Results: Fourteen per cent of admissions were tested post-implementation compared with 5.3% during the implementation period (P<0.001). HIV prevalence pre-implementation was 1.4% compared with 0.3% following implementation (P<0.05). The average CD4 count at diagnosis was <200 cells/mm3. Conclusions: There was a significant increase in HIV testing following guideline implementation; however, the overall testing rate remained low. Routine screening did not increase detection of HIV, and HIV continues to be diagnosed late at Royal Darwin Hospital. Methods for improving understanding of the rationale for routine screening and increased promotion of the guidelines are required to increase testing.Journal compilation © CSIRO 2015.

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