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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2003;27(2):234-41.

Sex in Australia: sexually transmissible infection and blood-borne virus history in a representative sample of adults.

Author information

1
National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales, Darlinghurst. agrulich@nchecr.unsw.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the lifetime and recent history of STIs and BBV, including place of seeking treatment, in a representative sample of Australian adults.

METHODS:

Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample of 10,173 men and 9,134 women aged 16-59 years from all States and Territories. The overall response rate was 73.1% (69.4% among men and 77.6% among women).

RESULTS:

Overall, 20.2% of men and 16.9% of women had ever been diagnosed with an STI or BBV, and 2.0% and 2.2% respectively had been diagnosed in the past year. The participant's usual general practitioner was the most common location of treatment. Sexual health clinics accounted for a small proportion of treatment locations. Predictors of recent STI or BBV diagnosis in men included homosexual or bisexual identity, a history of sex work as a worker or client, a history of injecting drugs and having more than one partner in the past year. In women, predictors included bisexual identity, history of sex work as a worker, injecting drug use, and having more than one partner in the past year. Around 40% of men and women had been tested for HIV and in homosexually identified men, 77% had been tested.

CONCLUSION:

STIs and BBVs are common infections in Australia and care is mostly received from general practitioners. Although a variety of predictors, including homosexual or bisexual identity, injecting drug use and sex work were related to STI diagnosis, STIs were not uncommon among people without these risk factors.

IMPLICATIONS:

General practitioners in Australia require a high level of expertise to recognise, offer testing, and manage common STIs and BBVs.

PMID:
14696717
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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