Gonorrhoea rates rise in Sydney
ACON is urging gay men in Sydney to get tested for STIs after a new report identified a rise in gonorrhoea infections in Sydney.
A recent research paper which focused on the health of men in the South East area of Sydney used the NSW Health database to reveal a jump in throat infections from 87 in 2010 to 352 in 2012.
The paper also identified a significant increase in rectoral infections, which were up 78%. The results of the paper were published in the Medical Journal of Australia this week.
ACON CEO, Nicolas Parkhill, said the increases in gonorrhoea infections in Sydney was concerning.
“We know that these rates are likely to reflect a combination of the level of sexual activity in our community, variations in men’s understanding of safe sex practices, and the infectious nature of the bacteria,” said Parkhill.
“These factors, when combined with variations in how often health services offer tests, are likely to be contributing to the rise in infections.”
A bacterial infection, gonorrhea can be transmitted through oral or anal sex as well as other sex practices. It is treatable with antibiotics.
Parkhill suggested the more sexually active gay men were, the more frequently they need to be tested.
“All men who have sex with men should have at least one test per year, but men who have episodes of unprotected sex, or have more than ten partners in six months, should have more frequent tests – at least every three to six months”.
ACON offers testing for STIs and rapid HIV testing at both Surry Hills and Newtown.