A new report reveals the number of gonorrhea cases in Australia rising by 63 percent over the past five years. Experts say the rising number of cases is driven by young heterosexuals living in major cities across the country.
Gonorrhea Cases Rise By 63 Percent In Australia
The number of gonorrhea cases in Australia has risen from 62 infections per 100,000 people to 101 infections per 100,000 people.
The annual surveillance report, which was published on Monday, Nov.6, shows that there were 23,887 new infections of gonorrhea in 2016, in which three quarters of those cases were among males. In males, the rate went up by 72 percent, while for females; it has increased by 43 percent.
Also, the report reveals that the majority of gonorrhea infections were found in men between the ages of 25 and 29 and in women between the ages of 20 and 24.
What's Behind The Huge Increase?
Australian researchers were left puzzled about the causes surrounding the dramatic increase of gonorrhea cases in the country. They say that it is possible that "changes in sexual behavior" or "differences in a particular strain" may have been one of the reasons behind the increase.
"Up until recently, gonorrhea had been uncommon in young heterosexual people living in major cities. Rising rates in this group highlight the need for initiatives to raise awareness among clinicians and young people about the importance of testing," said Rebecca Guy, the head of the Surveillance, Evaluation and Research Program at Kirby Institute.
"With the national strategies for HIV, hepatitis and STIs up for review, reducing STIs in young people will be an important target."
HIV Cases Remain Stable
Despite the rise in the number of gonorrhea cases, the report shows that the number of HIV cases in Australia has remained stable in the past five years. In 2016, there were around 1,000 new cases of HIV diagnoses.
Meanwhile, the number of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has also witnessed an increase, according to the report, especially among the indigenous population.
Number Of STD Cases In The US Currently At All-Time High
According to the CDC's recent annual report on STDs in the United States, the number of people infected with STDs has reached an all-time high, with over 2 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia.
The number of chlamydia cases in the United States has increased by 4.7 percent from 2015. The CDC report shows that nearly half of all diagnosed chlamydia infections were found in women. Syphilis, on the other hand, has seen almost a 17.6 percent increase from the previous year, with a 35.7 percent increase in women.