A recent study shows the spread of gonorrhoea is on a sharp rise among Australia's men and woman but the numbers of new HIV cases have remained relatively stable of the last five years. A surveillance report on Australia's sexual health conducted by the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney on Monday shows the rapidly increasing rise by 63% of gonorroea, and that's just since 2001.
The head of the study, Associate Professor Rebecca Guy, says attention must be drawn to this problem and a campaign must be created to fight the spread of gonorrhoea and raise awareness among youth. Professor Guy says, "Up until recently, gonorrhoea had been uncommon in young heterosexual people living in major cities. Rising rates in this group highlighted the need for initiatives to raise awareness among clinicians and young people about the importance of testing."
While HIV rates are steady, 1013 new HIV diagnoses in 2016 compared to 1027 in 2015, the number of indigenous to contract HIV is proportionally greater. Of 1000 new HIV cases, 46 identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander which is more than double the rate of non-indigenous Australian born people according to AFAO CEO Darryl O'Donnell.
O'Donnell also says the study revealed a higher rate among immigrant heterosexual men. He says, "Although Australian governments have an official goal of ending HIV transmission, new notifications remained stubbornly stable in 2016 and increases among specific communities demonstrate the need to invest in programs to ensure nobody is left behind."
"Regular sexual health testing is part of being sexually active," Mr O'Donnell went on to say.
"We must make it easier for people to ask for a sexual health test and for doctors to offer it. There is no shame in it."
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