Each year, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program collaborates with the Surveillance and Evaluation Program for Public Health on the “Bloodborne viral and sexually transmitted infections in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: Surveillance and Evaluation Report”.
This surveillance report provides information on the occurrence of blood borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia for the purposes of stimulating and supporting discussion on ways forward in minimising the transmission risks, as well as the personal and social consequences of these infections within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The report is produced in a format that is recognised as appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and communities, and is overseen by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Advisory Committee.
- Chlamydia and gonorrhoea notifications continue to be reported at disproportionately high rates among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
- Infectious syphilis notifications decreased slightly in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in 2012, particularly in 15 – 19 year olds. However, the trends vary across jurisdictions with a substantial decline in Northern Territory and a plateau in Queensland.
- Outer regional, remote and very remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities continue to experience substantially higher rates of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and infectious syphilis notifications compared with inner regional and major cities in Australia.
- New HIV diagnoses continue to be notified in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population at a similar rate to that in the non-Indigenous population. A higher proportion of HIV diagnoses in the past five years in the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander population are due to injecting drug use (13%) than the non-Indigenous population (2%).
- Notifications of newly diagnosed hepatitis C infection and newly acquired B infection are reported at disproportionately high rates among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.