People are being urged to look after their sexual health
Recent data has revealed a significant increase in STI notifications across Australia, and now authorities are urging people to look after their sexual health and get tested regularly to keep an eye on the rising cases of chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea.
What are the numbers?
The Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton commented on the noticeable spike in STI records across the nation.
“The last decade has seen record increases in STI’s such as Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis across Australia,” Dr Sutton said.
“In 2017, Victoria had the highest number of STI’s reported since reports began in 1991.”
In the Brimbank region, diagnosed cases of gonorrhoea had risen by 91% between 2012 and 2017, and syphilis had risen 100%.
The latest Sexually Transmissible Infections Data Report revealed New South Wales’ Hunter Valley region has had an increase of gonorrhoea cases from 260 in 2012 to 395 in 2017. On top of that, the Hunter Valley has also seen an increase of syphilis notifications from 14 in 2012 to 43 in 2017. Nationwide, there was a total of 2938 notifications in 2017 alone.
“While this can be associated with more testing, improved testing technology and a growing population, this rise is also linked to changing sexual behaviours,” Dr Sutton said.
With the internet on the rise “social media, dating websites and apps are changing the way we meet, connect and form relationships.”
How to prevent STIs:
The public has been shocked by the results of a campaign done by the Queensland Health Department on the alarming STI statistics.
The results included “half of young adults think pulling out can stop STIs” and “60 per cent of young adults think the pill can stop STIs.”
The campaign has been debunking common myths around sexual health through social videos and outdoor posters.
People are being encouraged by after-hours doctors to get to know their sexual partners and their health, and to use effective and appropriate prevention methods.
According to the experts at House Call Doctor, the most effective methods include:
- Use a condom and the pill
- Get immunised to help prevent Hepatitis B and other types of HPV
- Get regularly tested
- Know your sexual partner and their health.