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Sexual Health

Sexual Health

Volume 11 Number 4 2014

SH13074High rates of sexually transmissible infections in HIV-positive patients in the Australian HIV Observational Database: a prospective cohort study

Brian P. Mulhall, Stephen Wright, Debbie Allen, Katherine Brown, Bridget Dickson, Miriam Grotowski, Eva Jackson, Kathy Petoumenos, Phillip Read, Timothy Read, Darren Russell, David J. Smith, David J. Templeton, Christopher K. Fairley and Matthew G. Law
pp. 291-297

Sexually transmissible infections (STI) enhance transmission of HIV, probably even in the context of viral suppression by antiretroviral drugs. This study demonstrates high incidence rates for four STI (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, warts and syphilis) in a longitudinal treatment cohort of HIV-infected individuals between 2005 and 2011.

SH13204Sexual and reproductive health and philanthropic funding in Australia

Liz Gill-Atkinson, Cathy Vaughan and Hennie Williams
pp. 298-304

Australia’s philanthropic sector is often not well understood, and little is known about philanthropic funding for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) initiatives. In-depth interviews with those working for Australian philanthropic trusts and foundations, and those working to improve SRH, identified a range of barriers and facilitators to both seeking and providing philanthropic funding for SRH-focused initiatives. Addressing the barriers identified and promoting the facilitators could enhance awareness of the possible role that Australia’s philanthropic sector could play in improving the SRH of Australians.

SH14011Attitudes towards microbicide use for bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy

Marina Catallozzi, Camille Y. Williams, Gregory D. Zimet, Katharine M. Hargreaves, Shari E. Gelber, Adam J. Ratner, Lawrence R. Stanberry and Susan L. Rosenthal
pp. 305-312

Microbicides could be an option for the prevention and treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV) and other reproductive tract infections (RTIs) in pregnancy. Understanding pregnant women’s acceptability and use of these topical microbicide products will be crucial for future product development. In this qualitative study regarding hypothetical use of topical microbicides for BV, pregnant women were open to the use of a microbicide for the prevention, and particularly for the treatment, of BV for a variety of reasons, but especially if use would positively impact the baby’s health. Improved education regarding BV, its complications, overcoming practical problems in using microbicides and involving partners in decision making regarding microbicides may improve acceptability of microbicide use for BV.


Multiple drivers of HIV risk among transwomen have been investigated in the literature to date, but little work has been done to examine the sexual networks of transwomen. This study utilises San Francisco city-wide data from HIV counselling and testing sites to identify characteristics of individuals who report having a transgender sexual partner and examines their HIV-related risk behaviours. We found higher rates of risk behaviours among sexual partners of transgender people yet lower HIV positivity when comparing to the overall testing sample. These findings point to the need for a rigorous examination of the sexual networks of transgender people to better understand the disproportionately higher risk for HIV.

SH13205Epidemiology of gonorrhoea notifications in Australia, 2007–12

April Roberts-Witteveen, Kate Pennington, Nasra Higgins, Carolyn Lang, Monica Lahra, Russell Waddell and John Kaldor
pp. 324-331

An increase in the notification rate of gonorrhoea was observed in the Australian surveillance system. Data analysis showed that although notification rates have increased, epidemiology remained constant, with highest rates in Indigenous people in remote areas. The greatest increase in rates was for men in urban settings. Prevention efforts should be strengthened and further analysis incorporating laboratory testing data should be undertaken.

SH14032Prevalence, correlates and attitudes towards sexting among young people in Melbourne, Australia

Timothy H. Yeung, Danielle R. Horyniak, Alyce M. Vella, Margaret E. Hellard and Megan S. C. Lim
pp. 332-339

‘Sexting’ is the exchange of sexually explicit material via communication technologies. We conducted a cross-sectional questionnaire with 1372 young people and focus group discussions with 39 young people to better understand this practice. We found that sexting was common (40% had ever sexted) and participants considered consensual sexting to be an acceptable and normal part of relationships.

SH14057Declining trends in the proportion of non-viral sexually transmissible infections reported by STD clinics in the US, 2000–10

Kwame Owusu-Edusei, Bianca J. Sayegh, Alesia J. Harvey and Robert J. Nelson
pp. 340-344

Analyses of the proportion of non-viral sexually transmissible infections reported by STD clinics to the Centers for Disease Control from 2000 to 2010 showed significant declines for syphilis and gonorrhoea, and to a lesser extent for chlamydia.

SH14091A novel time-limited pop-up HIV testing service for gay men in Sydney, Australia, attracts high-risk men

Vickie Knight, Marianne Gale, Rebecca Guy, Nicolas Parkhill, Jo Holden, Craig Leeman, Anna McNulty, Phillip Keen and Handan Wand
pp. 345-350

We compared uptake and outcomes of a novel time-limited pop-up community HIV testing service providing rapid HIV tests with those of an established fast-track screening service clinical model offering rapid and/or conventional HIV tests and tests for sexually transmissible infections (STI). This study showed that time-limited Pop-up community HIV testing is feasible and reached high-risk gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM); however, compared with a clinic-based model, it only reached a smaller proportion of GBM who test infrequently or who have never been tested and are unaware of their HIV status. No STI testing was conducted through the Pop-up service, which allowed a higher throughput of HIV tests; however, a significant number of STIs may have been missed.


A sample of lesbian women recruited via the Internet was compared with a paper-based sample. Both groups completed a questionnaire regarding demographic variables and questions regarding dealing with homosexuality, psychological burden, access to care and discrimination experience within the German healthcare system. Health survey data derived from Internet- and paper-based samples of lesbian women in Germany are not too dissimilar. Further research in additional contexts is needed to decide whether they can be merged for further analyses.

SH14058Early age at first sex: associations with sexual health and sociodemographic factors among a sample of young music festival attendees in Melbourne

Alyce M. Vella, Paul A. Agius, Anna L. Bowring, Margaret E. Hellard and Megan S. C. Lim
pp. 359-365

Young age at first sex (AFS) is associated with adverse outcomes, including the acquisition of sexually transmissible infections. We explored factors and correlates of ‘early’ (<16 years) AFS among young festival attendees in Melbourne, Australia. Median AFS was 17 years; results indicated that being male, younger, having no post-high school education, multiple lifetime sex partners, reporting inconsistent condom use, living alone or with a partner and ever using drugs was associated with early AFS. Results highlight the importance of comprehensive sex education before sexual initiation

SH14079Reattendance and chlamydia retesting rates at 12 months among young people attending Australian general practice clinics 2007–10: a longitudinal study

Emma R. Weaver, Anna L. Bowring, Rebecca Guy, Caroline van Gemert, Jane S. Hocking, Douglas I. Boyle, Tony Merritt, Clare Heal, Phyllis M. Lau, Basil Donovan and Margaret E. Hellard
pp. 366-369

Clinical guidelines commonly recommend annual chlamydia testing in young people. The Australian Collaboration for Coordinated Enhanced Sentinel Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Blood-Borne Viruses system (ACCESS) extracted consultation and pathology data on 16–29-year-olds attending 25 general practice (GP) clinics in 2007–10. We calculated the proportion of individuals with an initial negative test that reattended at 12 months (±3 months) and retested at 12 months (±3 months). Although over half of young people reattended their GP clinic approximately 1 year after a negative chlamydia baseline test, retesting at this visit was low. Strategies are needed to promote regular attendance and testing to both patients and clinicians.

SH14035Could point-of-care testing be effective for reducing the prevalence of trichomoniasis in remote Aboriginal communities?

Ben B. Hui, James Ward, Louise Causer, Rebecca J. Guy, Matthew G. Law and David G. Regan
pp. 370-374

A high prevalence of trichomoniasis is reported for many remote Indigenous communities despite intensive screening and treatment. In this modelling study we investigate the potential impact for point-of-care (POC) testing and treatment to reduce trichomoniasis prevalence in this population. Our results suggest that POC testing, in place of conventional testing, may improve trichomoniasis control, but emphasis should be placed on testing older women.

SH13198Hepatitis E in Australian HIV-infected patients: an under-recognised pathogen?

Michelle K. Yong, Emma K. Paige, David Anderson and Jennifer F. Hoy
pp. 375-378

This cross-sectional study revealed a seroprevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) of 8% in a random sample of HIV-infected patients with normal liver function and 4.4% in those with biochemical hepatitis. This is greater than the seroprevalence in the Australian general population, such that HEV may be an under-recognised cause of hepatitis in the population of individuals with HIV infection and should be considered in those with unexplained hepatitis.

SH14094Time trends in adolescent sexual behaviour in Italy

Claudia Marino, Alessio Vieno, Michela Lenzi and Massimo Santinello
pp. 379-380

This study describes trends in 15-year-old adolescent sexual behaviour in Italy from 2002 to 2010. The findings from this study expand the knowledge on adolescent sexual behaviour in Italy and indicate the importance of developing new strategies to improve sexual health among Italian adolescents.

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