Western Sydney Sexual Health Center

Sydney, Australia

Western Sydney Sexual Health Center

Sydney, Australia

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PubMed | University of New South Wales, the Royal Womens Hospital, St Vincents Hospital, Monash University and 2 more.
Type: Evaluation Studies | Journal: Diagnostic cytopathology | Year: 2016

The ThinPrep Imaging System (TIS) is an accurate time-saving method of reading cervical ThinPrep slides in screening programs. As anal and cervical cytology are morphologically similar, TIS can potentially be used for anal cytology. We assessed the performance of TIS on anal ThinPrep slides from homosexual men in a natural history study of human papillomavirus-related anal abnormalities.Four hundred nineteen anal cytology slides were processed by TIS and classified by a cytologist as either No further review (slide archived) or Manual review (slide requiring full manual screen). The results were compared with the original manual screening report for all slides and specifically for those screening episodes accompanied by a high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) on concurrent biopsy.One hundred seventy six of 419 (42.0%) slides were classified as No further review, with a trend of decreasing proportions as the degree of severity of the cytological abnormality increased. Thirteen (27.7%) slides with an original unsatisfactory report were classified as No further review. Eighty two (92.1%) of those with biopsy HSIL and cytological abnormality were classified for Manual review, including all 45 (100%) with cytological HSIL.The cervical algorithm of TIS performed best on anal samples when HSIL was present both cytologically and histologically. The 27.7% unsatisfactory slides classified as No further review may indicate need for use of different criteria from cervical cytology. Because of the high prevalence of abnormalities, and hence the large proportion of slides needing manual review, the cytologist time-saving would compare unfavorably with use of TIS in cervical screening.


PubMed | University of KwaZulu - Natal, Western Sydney Sexual Health Center and University of Cape Town
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Immunology | Year: 2016

T helper type 17 (Th17) cells play an important role in immunity to fungal and bacterial pathogens, although their role in the female genital tract, where exposure to these pathogens is common, is not well understood. We investigated the relationship between female genital tract infections, cervicovaginal interleukin-17 (IL-17) concentrations and Th17 cell frequencies. Forty-two cytokines were measured in cervicovaginal lavages from HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected women. Frequencies of Th17 cells (CD3(+) CD4(+) IL-17a(+)) were evaluated in cervical cytobrushes and blood by flow cytometry. Women were screened for Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma genitalium, Trichomonas vaginalis and herpes simplex virus 2 by PCR, and candidal infections and bacterial vaginosis by Gram stain. Women with bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs), specifically chlamydia and gonorrhoea, had higher genital IL-17 concentrations than women with no STI, whereas women with candidal pseudohyphae/spores had lower IL-17 concentrations compared with women without candidal infections. Viral STIs (herpes simplex virus 2 and HIV) were not associated with significant changes in genital IL-17 concentrations. Genital IL-17 concentrations correlated strongly with other inflammatory cytokines and growth factors. Although Th17 cells were depleted from blood during HIV infection, cervical Th17 cell frequencies were similar in HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected women. Cervical Th17 cell frequencies were also not associated with STIs or candida, although few women had a STI. These findings suggest that IL-17 production in the female genital tract is induced in response to bacterial but not viral STIs. Decreased IL-17 associated with candidal infections suggests that candida may actively suppress IL-17 production or women with dampened IL-17 responses may be more susceptible to candidal outgrowth.


Conway D.P.,University of New South Wales | Holt M.,University of New South Wales | McNulty A.,Sydney Hospital | McNulty A.,University of New South Wales | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: Determine HIV Combo (DHC) is the first point of care assay designed to increase sensitivity in early infection by detecting both HIV antibody and antigen. We conducted a large multi-centre evaluation of DHC performance in Sydney sexual health clinics. Methods: We compared DHC performance (overall, by test component and in early infection) with conventional laboratory HIV serology (fourth generation screening immunoassay, supplementary HIV antibody, p24 antigen and Western blot tests) when testing gay and bisexual men attending four clinic sites. Early infection was defined as either acute or recent HIV infection acquired within the last six months. Results: Of 3,190 evaluation specimens, 39 were confirmed as HIV-positive (12 with early infection) and 3,133 were HIV-negative by reference testing. DHC sensitivity was 87.2% overall and 94.4% and 0% for the antibody and antigen components, respectively. Sensitivity in early infection was 66.7% (all DHC antibody reactive) and the DHC antigen component detected none of nine HIV p24 antigen positive specimens. Median HIV RNA was higher in false negative than true positive cases (238,025 vs. 37,591 copies/ml; p = 0.022). Specificity overall was 99.4% with the antigen component contributing to 33% of false positives. Conclusions: The DHC antibody component detected two thirds of those with early infection, while the DHC antigen component did not enhance performance during point of care HIV testing in a high risk clinic-based population. © 2014 Conway et al.


PubMed | University of New South Wales, Western Sydney Sexual Health Center and St Vincents Hospital
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Sexual health | Year: 2016

Background Anal cancer is increasing in incidence, has very high rates in specific populations and shares many similarities with cervical cancer. High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) are regarded as precursors to anal cancer. High resolution anoscopy (HRA), which is derived from colposcopy, is the only currently available tool that can identify areas of the anal canal for targeted biopsy and identification of HSIL.This study investigated the ability over a period of time of a single anoscopist to identify and adequately biopsy HSIL, correlating with contemporary anal cytological findings.Four hundred paired cytology and histology samples collected from 283 patients over a 7-year period from 2004 to 2010 were compared. There was a significant increase in HSIL detection rates when anal squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US; 38.6-66.0%) or low-grade squamous intra-epithelial lesion (38.8-68.3%) were taken as cut-off points (P<0.001 for both). Detection rates did not change significantly when atypical squamous cells-cannot exclude HSIL (ASC-H) or a higher grade lesion (70-76.6%) was taken as the cut-off point.The increase in ability to detect histological HSIL over time and with increasing experience has the potential to impact on delivery of clinical services and the interpretation of clinical trial data. Further studies are required to determine the extent of this effect on other clinicians practising HRA.


PubMed | Melbourne Sexual Health Center, University of New South Wales, University of The Sunshine Coast, University of Melbourne and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: BMC infectious diseases | Year: 2017

Rectal infection with Chlamydia trachomatis is one of the most common bacterial sexually transmissible infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) with diagnosis rates continuing to rise. Current treatment guidelines recommend either azithromycin 1g single dose or doxycycline 100mg twice daily for 7days. However, there are increasing concerns about treatment failure with azithromycin. We are conducting the first randomised controlled trial (RCT) to compare treatment efficacy of azithromycin versus doxycycline for the treatment of rectal chlamydia in MSM.The Rectal Treatment Study will recruit 700 MSM attending Australian sexual health clinics for the treatment of rectal chlamydia. Participants will be asked to provide rectal swabs and will be randomised to either azithromycin 1g single dose or doxycycline 100mg twice daily for 7days. Participants will be asked to complete questionnaires about adverse drug reactions, sexual behaviour and drug adherence via short message service and online survey. The primary outcome is the treatment efficacy as determined by a negative chlamydia nucleic acid amplification test at 4weeks post treatment. Secondary outcomes will utilise whole genome sequencing and mRNA assay to differentiate between treatment failure, reinfection or false positive results.Rectal chlamydia is an increasing public health concern as use of pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV becomes commonplace. Optimal, evidence-based treatment is critical to halting ongoing transmission. This study will provide the first RCT evidence comparing azithromycin and doxycycline for the treatment of rectal chlamydia. The results of this trial will establish which treatment is more efficacious and inform international management guidelines.Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12614001125617.


PubMed | Royal Adelaide Hospital, Melbourne Sexual Health Center, University of New South Wales, Fremantle Hospital and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: The Journal of infectious diseases | Year: 2016

In Australia, high uptake of the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (4vHPV) vaccine has led to reductions in the prevalence of HPV genotypes 6/11/16/18 in females aged 25 years. We evaluated the programs impact on HPV prevalence in unvaccinated males.Sexually active heterosexual males aged 16-35 years were recruited in 2014-2016. Participants provided a self-collected penile swab for HPV genotyping (Roche Linear Array) and completed a demographic and risk factor questionnaire.The prevalence of 4vHPV genotypes among 511 unvaccinated males was significantly lower in men aged 25 years compared with those >25 years: 3.1% (95% CI: 1.5-5.7%) vs 13.7% (95% CI: 8.9-20.1%) respectively (p<0.001); aPR 0.22 (95% CI: 0.09-0.51; p<0.001). By contrast, the prevalence of high-risk HPV genotypes other than 16/18 remained the same across age groups: 16.8% (95% CI: 12.6-21.9%) in men aged 25 years and 17.9% (95% CI: 12.4-25.0%) in those >25 years (p=0.756); aPR 0.98, (95% CI: 0.57-1.37; p=0.580).A 78% lower prevalence of 4vHPV genotypes was observed among younger males. These data suggest that unvaccinated males may have benefited from herd protection as much as females from a female only HPV vaccination program with high coverage.


Biggs K.,Western Sydney Sexual Health Center | Biggs K.,University of Sydney | Walsh J.,Western Sydney Sexual Health Center
Sexual Health | Year: 2015

Background Publicly funded sexual health services (PFSHS) in NSW use triage to prioritise access for people at increased risk of infection and refer people at lower risk to General Practitioners (GPs). This study aimed to determine why people in Western Sydney attend a PFSHS in preference to their GP, whether they would be willing to see their GP for sexual health services and what factors were important when making this decision. Methods: An anonymous self-administered questionnaire was used for this study. Results: In total, 228/249 (92%) of all respondents had visited a GP in the previous 12 months; 192/249 (77%) knew the GP could perform sexually transmissible infection testing (STI) testing; 124/249 (50%) had ever had a STI check with a GP and 101/249 (41%) were willing to attend a GP service for STI-related care in the future. Factors relating to the health service staff and client comfort emerged as strong reasons for choice of health service. One-third of non-priority clients (33%) were unwilling to see a GP for STI testing in the future. Respondents raised concerns regarding perceived issues with confidentiality and lack of confidence in the GP's expertise in sexual health. Conclusions: The underlying factors relating to sexual health care with the GP, whether real or perceived, need to be addressed in order for PFSHS to successfully triage out attendees who are at a lower STI risk.Journal compilation © CSIRO 2015.


Lewis D.A.,Western Sydney Sexual Health Center | Lewis D.A.,University of Sydney
Sexually Transmitted Infections | Year: 2015

Gonorrhoea is an important sexually transmitted infection associated with serious complications and enhanced HIV transmission. Oropharyngeal infections are often asymptomatic and will only be detected by screening. Gonococcal culture has low sensitivity (50%) for detecting oropharyngeal gonorrhoea, and, although not yet approved commercially, nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) are the assay of choice. Screening for oropharyngeal gonorrhoea should be performed in highrisk populations, such as men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM). NAATs have a poor positive predictive value when used in low-prevalence populations. Gonococci have repeatedly thwarted gonorrhoea control efforts since the first antimicrobial agents were introduced. The oropharyngeal niche provides an enabling environment for horizontal transfer of genetic material from commensal Neisseria and other bacterial species to Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This has been the mechanism responsible for the generation of mosaic penA genes, which are responsible for most of the observed cases of resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESC). As antimicrobial-resistant gonorrhoea is now an urgent public health threat, requiring improved antibiotic stewardship, laboratory-guided recycling of older antibiotics may help reduce ESC use. Future trials of antimicrobial agents for gonorrhoea should be powered to test their efficacy at the oropharynx as this is the anatomical site where treatment failure is most likely to occur. It remains to be determined whether a combination of frequent screening of high-risk individuals and/or laboratory-directed fluoroquinolone therapy of oropharyngeal gonorrhoea will delay the further emergence of drug-resistant N. gonorrhoeae strains.


Couldwell D.L.,western Sydney Sexual Health Center | Couldwell D.L.,University of Sydney | Lewis D.A.,western Sydney Sexual Health Center | Lewis D.A.,University of Sydney
Infection and Drug Resistance | Year: 2015

Mycoplasma genitalium is an important cause of non-gonococcal urethritis, cervicitis, and related upper genital tract infections. The efficacy of doxycycline, used extensively to treat non-gonococcal urethritis in the past, is relatively poor for M. genitalium infection; azithromycin has been the preferred treatment for several years. Research on the efficacy of azithromycin has primarily focused on the 1 g single-dose regimen, but some studies have also evaluated higher doses and longer courses, particularly the extended 1.5 g regimen. This extended regimen is thought to be more efficacious than the 1 g single-dose regimen, although the regimens have not been directly compared in clinical trials. Azithromycin treatment failure was first reported in Australia and has subsequently been documented in several continents. Recent reports indicate an upward trend in the prevalence of macrolide-resistant M. genitalium infections (transmitted resistance), and cases of induced resistance following azithromycin therapy have also been documented. Emergence of antimicrobial-resistant M. genitalium, driven by suboptimal macrolide dosage, now threatens the continued provision of effective and convenient treatments. Advances in techniques to detect resistance mutations in DNA extracts have facilitated correlation of clinical outcomes with genotypic resistance. A strong and consistent association exists between presence of 23S rRNA gene mutations and azithromycin treatment failure. Fluoroquinolones such as moxifloxacin, gatifloxacin, and sitafloxacin remain highly active against most macrolide-resistant M. genitalium. However, the first clinical cases of moxifloxacin treatment failure, due to bacteria with coexistent macrolide-associated and fluoroquinolone-associated resistance mutations, were recently published by Australian investigators. Pristinamycin and solithromycin may be of clinical benefit for such multidrug-resistant infections. Further clinical studies are required to determine the optimal therapeutic dosing schedules for both agents to effect clinical cure and minimize the risk of emergent antimicrobial resistance. Continual inappropriate M. genitalium treatments will likely lead to untreatable infections in the future © 2015 Couldwell and Lewis.


PubMed | Western Sydney Sexual Health Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Sexual health | Year: 2016

Background Patient information leaflets (PILs) are widely utilised within publically funded sexual health clinics to deliver sexual health-related information (SHRI); however, their continued value to clients in the era of social media is unclear. This study aimed to evaluate clients opinions on three newly developed PILs and examine client views on other forms of SHRI delivery.An anonymous self-administered questionnaire was completed by clients attending the Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre (WSSHC) in 2012. High-risk population (HRP) vs non-high-risk population (non-HRP) views on PILs vs alternative methods of SHRI delivery were analysed by using Mann-Whitney U, Wilcoxon, McNemar and (2) tests.Over half (210/315; (67%)) of the consecutive clients from a culturally diverse population completed the survey. Sex workers (SW) and young people (YP) were significantly likely to have a high school education than non-HRP (P<0.039 and P<0.032). Overall, PILs, a clinic website and the Sexual Health Information Link (SHIL), a state-wide website and telephone line, were ranked significantly higher as a means of SHRI delivery on a Likert scale than newer technologies including Facebook (P<0.001), email (P<0.001), mobile phone applications (P<0.001), TVs in waiting rooms (P<0.001) and business cards (P<0.001). There was no significant difference in opinion between HRP and non-HRP.This study provides evidence for the ongoing use of PILs to deliver SHRI to clinic attendees, in conjunction with other forms of SHRI delivery such as websites and SHIL. Novel methods may require additional consumer engagement and a greater understanding of specific populations needs.

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