Could Sexually Transmissible Infections Be Contributing to the Increase in HIV Infections Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in Australia?
June 18, 2008
In the current study, the researchers undertook to review data on sexually transmissible infections (STI) in men who have sex with men (MSM) in Australia to determine the possible contribution of STI to diverging trends in HIV notifications in different states. They reviewed data from numerous sources, including routine national surveillance data, laboratory surveillance data, self-reported information on STI testing among MSM, and ad hoc reports of STI prevalence.
Between 1997 and 2006, increasing rates of gonorrhea and infectious syphilis notifications in urban men were noted, together with increasing rates of chlamydia notifications in men ages 30 to 49. By state, little differences in these trends were found. Due to differences in the population groups sampled, the authors were unable to gain further information on trends among MSM from these studies. An increase in anal STI testing was found between 2003 and 2006; this may have increased the number of diagnoses of chlamydia and gonorrhea for MSM during this period.
"Over the past 10 years, there has been a substantial increase in diagnoses of gonorrhea and infectious syphilis, and probably chlamydia, in [MSM] in Australia," the authors concluded. "However, it is unlikely that changes in the pattern of STI transmission are responsible for the recent divergence in HIV rates between Australian states because there is little evidence that trends in STI also differ by state."
6.2008; Vol. 5; No. 2: P. 131-140; Melanie G. Middleton, Andrew E. Grulich, Ann M. McDonald, Basil Donovan, Jane S. Hocking, John M. Kaldor
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.