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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Gonorrhoea testing and positivity in non-remote Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

Mary Ellen Harrod A , Sophia Couzos B , James Ward C , Mark Saunders D , Basil Donovan E , Belinda Hammond F , Dea Delaney-Thiele G H , Mary Belfrage I , Sid Williams J , Lucy Watchirs Smith E and John M. Kaldor E K
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A NSW Users and AIDS Association, Level 5, 414 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2012, Australia.

B James Cook University, 1 James Cook Drive, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.

C South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.

D National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, 3/221 London Circuit, Braddon, ACT 2612, Australia.

E Kirby Institute, Lv6, Wallace Wurth Building, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

F Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc., 28 Brady Street, Elizabeth Downs, SA 5000, Australia.

G School of Public Health & Community Medicine, Samuels Avenue, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

H Nepean Aboriginal Health Service Ltd, 454–456 High Street, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia.

I Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, 186 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy, Vic. 3065, Australia.

J Goondir Health Services, 4 Jimbour Street, Dalby, Qld 4405, Australia.

K Corresponding author. Email: Jkaldor@kirby.unsw.edu.au

Sexual Health 14(4) 320-324 https://doi.org/10.1071/SH16046
Submitted: 18 March 2016  Accepted: 23 January 2017   Published: 23 June 2017

Abstract

Background: Gonorrhoea occurs at high levels in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote communities, but there are limited data on urban and regional settings. An analysis was undertaken of gonorrhoea testing and positivity at four non-remote Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services participating in a collaborative research network. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of clinical encounter data derived from electronic medical records at participating services. Data were extracted using the GRHANITE program for all patients aged 15–54 years from 2009 to 2013. Demographic characteristics and testing and positivity for gonorrhoea were calculated for each year. Results: A total of 2971 patients (2571 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander) were tested for gonorrhoea during the study period. Among Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander patients, 40 (1.6%) tested positive. Gonorrhoea positivity was associated with clinic location (higher in the regional clinic) and having had a positive chlamydia test. By year, the proportion of patients aged 15–29 years tested for gonorrhoea increased in both men (7.4% in 2009 to 15.9% in 2013) and women (14.8% in 2009 to 25.3% in 2013). Concurrent testing for chlamydia was performed on 86.3% of testing occasions, increasing from 75% in 2009 to 92% in 2013. Factors related to concurrent testing were sex and year of test. Conclusions: The prevalence of gonorrhoea among young Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in non-remote settings suggests that the current approach of duplex testing for chlamydia and gonorrhoea simultaneously is justified, particularly for women.


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