Victoria health officials are calling on the public to start talking about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), to get tested and to seek treatment following reports of huge increases in the past 10 years.
‘The last decade has seen record increases in STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, here and across Australia,’ Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton said. ‘In 2017, Victoria had the highest number of STIs reported since records began in 1991.’
Between 2008 and 2017 in Victoria, reports of chlamydia have risen by 103 per cent, gonorrhoea by 690 per cent and syphilis by 253 per cent.
‘While this can be associated with more testing, improved testing technology and a growing population, this rise is also linked to changing sexual behaviours,’ Dr Sutton said. ‘In particular, social media, dating websites and apps are changing the way we meet, connect and form relationships.
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‘There are many types of STIs. The good news is most are curable and all are treatable. If left untreated, they can cause long term effects on the body, including infertility.
‘STIs don’t care about age, sexuality, income or where you live. If you’re having sex, the best way to prevent STI transmission is to always use a condom – they are the best protection for you and your partner.’