Positive Life NSW in Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade
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Gonorrhoea on the rise
Positive Life NSW calls on gay men living with HIV
to test and treat for gonorrhoea

With Mardi Gras festivities being over, Positive Life, STIPU and ACON urge Gay Men to get tested for STI’s, especially gonorrhoea. Recent public health surveillance data shows, too often uninvited guests like gonorrhoea leave Sydney Gay Men with more than just a hangover.

Since 2011, the gonorrhoea notifications among Gay Men in inner-metro Sydney have increased significantly. Compared to 2011, almost twice as many cases of gonorrhoea infections were notified in 2014.

“Now the party season is over, to protect yourselves and your sexual partners, please see your doctor and get tested and treated for gonorrhoea,” says Craig Cooper, CEO of Positive Life NSW.

"If gonorrhoea stays untreated it will cause increased infectivity and continue to spread in our community. Using condoms with any sexual activity can prevent getting infected with gonorrhoea."

As a reminder, gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that can affect the genitals, anus or throat. It gets passed on during anal or oral sex without a condom. Gonorrhoea is typically asymptomatic, so the person infected with gonorrhoea may not know it. The most common gonorrhoea symptoms are a yellow discharge from the penis and pain or burning when passing urine.

As a rule of thumb, whether there are symptoms or not, it’s always best to get tested – especially when sexually active with different partners, without condoms. Gonorrhoea is easily treatable with antibiotics. The important thing to remember is to test regularly when sexually active.

Basil Donovan, Professor and Head of the Sexual Health Program at The Kirby Institute states: “Diagnosed early, gonorrhoea is readily cured with a single dose of two antibiotics.”

Dr. Christopher Bourne from the South East Sydney Local Health District and Head of the NSW STI Programs Unit, warns not to underestimate gonorrhoea: “Untreated gonorrhoea can easily be transmitted to others during condom-less, penetrative sex and some strains can disseminate throughout the body from the site of infection to joints or skin.”

To get tested for gonorrhoea, you can make an appointment with a General Practitioner or visit a sexual health service or clinic.

Craig Cooper, CEO – 0422 509 200 or email
Positive Life NSW    |    Phone: 02 9206 2177   |   Free Call:  1800 245 677
Positive Life NSW is a NSW-wide community based HIV advocacy and support not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation. We work to promote a positive image of people living with and affected by HIV with the aim of eliminating prejudice, isolation, stigmatisation and discrimination. We provide information and targeted referrals, and advocate to change systems and practices that discriminate against people living with HIV, their friends, family and carers in NSW.
Copyright © 2015 Positive Life NSW All rights reserved.

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