The latest annual reports about sexually transmitted diseases in Australia paint a mixed picture of our country’s sexual health. The report shows that one in twenty young Aussies had chlamydia last year.
There were approximately 260,000 new cases of chlamydia in 15 – 29 year olds.
Narly three quarters of these new infections in 15-29 year olds are undiagnosed and therefore untreated, according to the report from UNSW’s Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society.
The annual report had some good news on HIV. New HIV cases have stabilised in the non-Indigenous population over the past four years, following a steady increase since 1999. And there’s been an expansion in the delivery of key HIV services in Australia over the past decade, resulting in a 27 per cent increase in the frequency of HIV testing and a 45 per cent increase in treatment in gay and bisexual men over the last five years.
Over 90 per cent of people taking antiretroviral treatment in Australia now have virus levels that are below detection limits, which means they are likely to remain well and extremely unlikely to transmit infection to another person.
In contrast to non-indigenous numbersstabilising rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men have doubled over the past five years and are now two times higher than in non-Indigenous men.
And rates of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis were 3, 10 and 6 times greater respectively than in the non-Indigenous population in 2015, with even more substantial differences in remote and very remote areas.
But there is some good news on genital warts, down 91 per cent in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged under 21, similar to the decline seen in the non-Indigenous population of the same age, thanks to HPV vaccination programs in schools.