Third National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy 2010-2013

The Third National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy 2010-2013 is one of a suite of five strategies aiming to reduce the transmission of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and blood borne viruses (BBVs), and the morbidity, mortality and personal and social impacts they cause.

Page last updated: 09 November 2011

Trends

HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) are significant public health issues for the Australian population at large but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are especially vulnerable due to their generally poorer health.
  • In the period 2006 to 2010, the rate of HIV diagnosis in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population increased steadily from 4.3 to 4.6 per 100 000 and in the non-Indigenous population, the rate decreased slightly from 4.3 in 2000 to 4 per 100 000 in 2010.
  • The recent trends in the rates of HIV diagnoses in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population are based on small numbers and may reflect localised occurrences rather than national patterns.
  • The most frequently reported route of transmission of HIV transmission was sexual contact between men.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cases differed from non-Indigenous cases in that a higher proportion of infections were attributed to injecting drug use (19.4% among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cases vs 2.5% for non-Indigenous cases), and a higher proportion of infections were among women (21.4% among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cases vs 8.0% for non-Indigenous cases in 2006-2010).
  • In 2010 the population rate of diagnosis of newly acquired hepatitis B infection for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations was 4 per 100 000.
  • A total of 7 608 cases of hepatitis C were diagnosed in Australia in 2010. Of these 458 (5%) occurred among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 3 297 (43%) occurred among non-Indigenous people and a further 3 853 (51%) cases were not notified for Indigenous status.
  • The rate of diagnosis of chlamydia in Australia continues to increase in both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and in the non-Indigenous population. The rate of diagnosis of chlamydia in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population increased from 1 039 in 2006 to 1 257 per 100 000 population in 2010 a 21% increase. In the non-Indigenous population, the rate increased by 65%, from 206 in 2006 to 340 per 100 000 population in 2010.
  • In 2010, the rate of diagnosis of gonorrhoea for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population was more than twenty six times that of the non Indigenous notification rate at 804 and 30 per 100 000 population respectively. During the period, 2006-2010, the rate of diagnosis of gonorrhoea decreased by 9.6% in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, from 889 to 804 per 100 000 population. After a fall in 2009 to 665 per 100 000 the rate increased to 804 per 100,000 population in 2010.
  • In the period 2006 to 2010, the rate of diagnosis of infectious syphilis decreased from 40 to 25 per 100 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. In the non-Indigenous population the rate of diagnosis doubled from 3 per 100 000 in 2006 to 6 per 100 000 in 2007 and then declined to 5 per 100 000 in 2010.
  • Only one case of donovanosis was diagnosed in Australia in 2010 demonstrating success in the efforts to eliminate this from Australian populations.

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Review of OATSIH's investment in sexual health and blood borne virus activities

This review examined OATSIH’s current investment into BBV and STI virus activity and sought to make an assessment of service and system models, funding models, workforce and impact resulting from that investment.

OATSIH commissioned Urbis in April 2010 to review its investment in blood borne virus (BBV) and sexually transmissible infections (STI) activities. The review is timely in that the third national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy was recently approved, succeeding the second national strategy. If you would like more information about this publication, please email BBVSS.

Links to other strategies

Guidelines/Information Sheets/Publications

HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia Annual Surveillance Report 2011, published by the Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society (formally the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (NCHECR)).

Bloodborne viral and sexually transmitted infections in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People: Surveillance and Evaluation Report 2011, published by the Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society (formally the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (NCHECR)).


A list of publications is available from the Publications page.