The latest report card on the nation’s sexual health by the University of New South Wales’s Kirby Institute reveals a troubling picture about Australia’s sexual health.
While new HIV and Chlamydia infections have flattened out over the past three years, more Australians are being diagnosed with gonorrhoea and syphilis.
“It’s easy to ignore such trends and think it doesn’t apply to Busselton,” said Doctor Kin Lee. “But doctors here are also seeing a rise in the diagnosis of gonorrhoea and syphilis.”
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are an unwelcome intrusion into anyone’s sex life. But it’s not the end of the world unless left untreated.
“If left untreated some bacterial infections like chlamydia and gonorrhoea can leave patients infertile or with chronic pelvic pain,” explained Doctor Lee.
Any itchy or sore lumps and bumps in the genital area, unusual discharge, or pelvic pain needs to be investigated.
“Just as the risk of contracting an STI varies from person to person, a sexual health check will also vary from person to person,” explained Doctor Lee.
Each STI requires specific samples to be taken for laboratory analysis. Samples taken can range from urine, faeces, and swabs of the area through to blood tests. Either way, privacy and confidentiality is assured.
“If you’ve had unprotected sex, have developed STI-like symptoms, or simply wish to get a clean bill of health before starting a new relationship - ask for a sexual health check-up,” said Doctor Lee. “It’s the responsible way to look after your sexual health.”