Chlamydia notifications have hit an all time high in Australia, with the annual total for 2009 exceeding 60,000.
According to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, 61,172 notifications of Chlaymdia were recorded by the end of 2009 - the majority of which were in Queensland (16,592), NSW (14,614) and Victoria (12,993).
What we're seeing is a 334% increase on notifications 10 years earlier, which is quite frightening, said Jill Michelson, National Clinical Adviser for Marie Stopes International.
Regardless of whether this is a result of better screening processes or unsafe sex practices, the one thing that is a certainty is that Chlamydia is out there and those that don't use condoms are at risk.
The organisation's warnings came following research which found that over half of all sexually active adults have never had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) check-up and 9 in 10 have had sex without a condom. Other key findings from the research include: · 6 out of 10 sexually active adults have not had an STI check-up since they last had unprotected sex.· Almost half (47.5%) of sexually active adults who were not in a monogamous relationship when they last had unprotected sex were between the ages of 35 and 40.· People aged between 18-24 (65%) and 35-40 (57%) were the age groups most likely to never have had an STI check-up.· Females are much more likely to have had an STI check up, with 51% saying they have, whilst only 36% of men answered yes to having had an STI check up.
Chlamydia is an infection spread through sexual intercourse (vaginal and anal) and is referred to as 'the silent STI', given that most people carry the infection without displaying any symptoms. The infection affects both men and women, and all ages are at risk.
It is vital that sexually active women and men learn how to identify the symptoms of STIs, and be aware that some STIs can be carried without displaying any obvious signs of infection, Ms Michelson said.
Having regular STI check-ups and wearing condoms is the only way to ensure your sexual health is in the clear.
And what better way to kick start 2010 than with a clean bill of sexual health!
To enquire about STI check-ups, visit your doctor or call Marie Stopes International on Freecall: 1800 003 707.
About Marie Stopes International: Marie Stopes International is a not-for-profit sexual and reproductive healthcare provider, with centres in the ACT, VIC, NSW, QLD and WA. MSI offers a range of services, including abortion, vasectomy, sexually transmitted infection check-ups, contraception and community-based health promotion and education. The organisation is part of a global international partnership that delivers vital health services to over five million people in 42 countries worldwide. Surplus funds support Marie Stopes International Australia, our charity partner, which works to save lives and improve sexual and reproductive health in Indigenous Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. For more information on the organisations, visit www.mariestopes.com.au and www.mariestopes.org.au(ends)