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Professor Rebecca Guy from the Kirby Institute delivered a talk on how new technologies are important for STI prevention. Media technologies allow young people to 24-hour access to information on sexual health. Computer assisted survey instrument (CASI) is an efficient way for clinics to collect information and triage clients. It is acceptable to both patients and clinicians. Studies have found women are more likely to report higher numbers of male partners via CASI than during a face to face consult with a clinician.
ACCEPt is a prevalence study, which aims to assess the feasibility, acceptability, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of annual chlamydia testing among 16–29 year olds in the general practice setting. Findings from the study include: 73% of chlamydia cases in the study were asymptomatic patients attending for non-sexual health reasons. This highlights the importance of offering all young people chlamydia treatment at GP visits.
Point of care testing (POCT) in rural areas has been successful. POCT can significantly reduce the time from diagnosis to treatment in many clients-especially marginalised populations who are often transient.
Professor Mark Hayter from the University of Hull spoke about integrated sexual health services and highlighted the need for school based sexual health clinics. There is some evidence to show a reduction in births to teenage mothers and a reduction in chlamydia rates among young men in young people who have access to school based sexual health clinics.
More focus is needed on alcohol misuse interventions and services. Alcohol consumption can reduce inhibitions and can lead to unsafe sexual practices. Clinicians should include alcohol and drug history as well as the patients sexual health history and provide brief interventions and referrals to appropriate services as needed.
It was also highlighted that whilst PrEP is very important for HIV prevention we also need to counsel men around safe drug use when they engage in “chemsex” as this can pose further r
Christopher Fairley postulated that pharyngeal gonorrhoea could be transmitted by saliva-via deep kissing and by using saliva as lubricant; which stirred great interest among the attendees in this morning’s session. Anti-bacterial mouthwashes may be the way forward in substantially reducing gonorrhoea prevalence. Watch this space!
Catriona Bradshaw discussed Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infections in the rectum. There is no standardised treatment for rectal chlamydia. The Centre for Disease Control guidelines does not distinguish between urogenital and rectal chlamydia.
Doxycycline appears to be the best treatment for rectal chlamydia. A randomised control trial is underway and this will inform treatment guidelines for rectal chlamydia.
MG has been less studied that CT and the data available on rectal MG is limited. MG testing is unavailable in many settings and may take 2 or more weeks to get a result.
There have cases of macrolide resistance, which have meant that this clever bacterium may need dual antibiotic therapy to treat and there is a great need for more antibiotics to be developed.
-Doxycycline should be used over azithromycin for rectal chlamydia while awaiting RCT evidence
-Rectal MG is commonly asymptomatic and more common in HIV positive males
-MG is predominantly macrolide resistant
-Better treatment guidelines and treatments are needed
Jane Tomnay- Patient-delivered partner therapy for STIs: the current state of play in Australia
Patient delivered partner therapy (PDPT) describes the practice in which treatment is prescribed for the sexual partner/s of an index patient diagnosed with a sexually transmissible infection, as well as the index patient. The patient then delivers a prescription, or the treatment, to their partner/s. PDPT aims to target those partners who are unwilling, unlikely or unable to consult a health professional in a timely manner.
Jane presented about the difference between a ‘provider referral’ versus ‘patient referral’ for the treatment of STIs. PDPT can be less resource intensive and was found to be acceptable to many. PDPT is already happening in Australia and the NT has taken the lead with this initiative.
-PDPT for chlamydia using azithromycin is safe
-Pharmacist’s knowledge regarding PDPT was low therefore education is needed
-In trials there has been no difference in partners followed up between medication PDPT and prescription PDPT