What do we need to know? Why does it matter? How does it affect us?
The latest data from the Annual Surveillance Report 2017 (HIV , viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible diseases/infections (STDs/STIs) in Australia) by The Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society 2017 is now available:
We share the key findings below. Between 2012 and 2016:
- Gonorrhoea notification rates increased by 63% (62 to 101 per 100,000 persons); notification rate in 2016 was higher in males than in females
- In males, the highest gonorrhoea notification rates were in the age groups 25–29 (438 per 100,000) and 20–24 years (383 per 100,000)
- In females, highest rates were in the age groups 20–24 (199 per 100,000) and 15–19 years (177 per 100,000).
- Notification rate of syphilis increased 107% (6.9 to 14.3 per 100,000 persons); notification rate was higher in males than in females in 2016
- Notification rates were highest in people aged 25–29 years (34 per 100,000), 30–39 (29 per 100,000) and 20–24 (25 per 100,000).
A similar increase in STD notification has also been seen in England: the BBC reported a 20% increase in cases of syphilis and a 22% increase in gonorrhoea cases between 2016 and 2017.
This trend is not limited to Australia and the UK. The Singapore Department of Sexually Transmitted Infections (or DSC) revealed that STDs/STIs rates in Singapore are rising among young adults. Chlamydia is the most common STD, followed by gonorrhoea and syphilis. We reported these data in earlier blogs on our website. The increase in STD cases reflects the changing sexual practices of young adults. It is also attributed to new cases in homosexual, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.
International travel has become commonplace in Singapore. Many young adults in Singapore study abroad, or travel frequently for work and leisure. Being aware of the heightened risk of contracting STDs is a first step towards protecting yourself. Second, practicing safe sex will reduce your risk significantly.
We list key messages below, and strongly encourage you to read the details found throughout our website:
- STDs/STIs may have no symptoms, or infections may linger in the body for weeks or months before symptoms develop. However, the person remains infectious
- Moreover, it is not uncommon for a person to be infected with more than one STD
- Early treatment of an STD/STI is the key to preventing transmission to others
- Early treatment also prevents complications from developing
Be responsible. If you are in a new sexual relationship, or have had casual sex, you should screen for STD. Persuade your partners to be screened as well.
Stop the spread of STDs/STIs. Get tested today.
STDs may be treated effectively. If you suspect you may have an STD, consult our doctors immediately.