Changes to Partner notification for Gonococcal Infections

18 December 2019 -  Changes to Partner notification for Gonococcal Infections 

The Adelaide Sexual Health Centre (ASHC) undertakes partner notification for selected sexually transmitted
infections (STI) diagnosed in the community. With the increased demand for partner notification services for
STIs within ASHC and in line with procedures in other jurisdictions, ASHC will no longer undertake partner
notification for gonorrhoea diagnosed by GPs and other health services in the wider community.  
ASHC will continue to undertake partner notification for all cases of drug resistant gonorrhoea, HIV, syphilis,
donovanosis and chancroid.  

COMMUNICABLE DISEASE 
CONTROL BRANCH
- Attention all doctors - 
Date: 18/12/2019     Contact telephone number: 1300 232 272  (24 hours/7 days)

 

Changes to Partner notification for Gonococcal Infections 

 

The Adelaide Sexual Health Centre (ASHC) undertakes partner notification for selected sexually transmitted 
infections (STI) diagnosed in the community. With the increased demand for partner notification services for 
STIs within ASHC and in line with procedures in other jurisdictions, ASHC will no longer undertake partner 
notification for gonorrhoea diagnosed by GPs and other health services in the wider community.  
ASHC will continue to undertake partner notification for all cases of drug resistant gonorrhoea, HIV, syphilis, 
donovanosis and chancroid.  

Partner notification (contact tracing) for gonorrhoea and chlamydia is the responsibility of the treating doctor and
an essential component of the clinical management of the patient’s infection.  

Educate the patient about gonorrhoea, as well-informed patients are more likely to contact their partners.
Infection does not confer any protective immunity, so a person can be re-infected by an untreated sexual
partner immediately after completion of treatment. Partner notification depends on the cooperation of the patient
and the treating doctor is best placed to provide supportive, non-judgemental advice and assistance to their
patients. The optimal time to discuss partner notification is at the time of diagnosis or treatment with a doctor
who has established rapport with the patient. 

For partner notification of gonorrhoea, doctors are advised to: 

  • Have contact tracing permanently on your checklist for managing STI.
  • Understand the patient’s particular situation and identify individual barriers to notifying contacts.
  • Stress the importance of partner notification and treating sexual partners.
  • Inform patients about asymptomatic infections, potential complications of untreated infection and the
    possibility of re-infection if a partner is not treated.
  • Advise patients to have no sexual contact for 7 days after treatment.
  • Advise no sex with sexual partners from the last 2 months until the partners have been tested and treated.
  • Test and treat contacts of a person with gonorrhoea on the same day (do not wait for confirmatory results).

Web resources are available for patients to inform partners anonymously:

Resources for medical professionals:

 

Recent public health alerts are available at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/healthalerts
For updated information on notifiable diseases in South Australia visit:
www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/NotifiableDiseaseReporting 
For all enquires please contact the CDCB on 1300 232 272 (24 hours/7 days)
Dr Louise Flood – Director, Communicable Disease Control Branch
Public – I4-A1

Download the official health alert here (PDF)
 

South Australian Syphilis Register for cases in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

09 December 2019 -  South Australian Syphilis Register for cases in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 

A multi-jurisdictional syphilis outbreak affecting predominantly rural and remote Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander communities across northern Australia has been ongoing since January
2011. The Far North and Eyre and Western regions of South Australia (SA) were declared part of
the outbreak in March 2017, and extended to Adelaide in November 2018. Nationally, there have
been eight congenital syphilis cases linked to the outbreak, including one in South Australia in 2017.  

COMMUNICABLE DISEASE 
CONTROL BRANCH
- Attention all doctors - 
Date: 09/12/2019     Contact telephone number: 1300 232 272  (24 hours/7 days)

 

South Australian Syphilis Register for cases in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 

 

A multi-jurisdictional syphilis outbreak affecting predominantly rural and remote Aboriginal and 
Torres Strait Islander communities across northern Australia has been ongoing since January 
2011. The Far North and Eyre and Western regions of South Australia (SA) were declared part of 
the outbreak in March 2017, and extended to Adelaide in November 2018. Nationally, there have 
been eight congenital syphilis cases linked to the outbreak, including one in South Australia in 2017.  

The Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB) has established the SA Syphilis Register
(the Register) as part of a comprehensive state-wide response to the outbreak.

The Register will:

  • Gather and consolidate available information regarding syphilis testing and treatment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander South Australians.
  • Assist clinicians and health services with diagnosing, staging and managing cases where required.
  • Assist with partner notification and contact tracing where required.

At the outset, the Register may have limited information, but will improve as further cases are
recorded on the Register. The Register will work in collaboration with health services and
Registers in other jurisdictions.

Clinicians and health services are advised to:

  • Notify cases of syphilis to the CDCB on 1300 232 272.
  • Contact the Register for assistance with diagnosing and managing syphilis cases (including partner notification) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  
  • Provide information to the Register on testing, treatment and contact tracing as requested.

Clinicians and health services are reminded that:

  • Treatment of syphilis is primarily with intramuscular (IM) benzathine penicillin 2.4 million units (1.8g), with regimen depending on clinical staging (see SA Health guideline).
  • Benzathine penicillin is now available on the PBS for use via the Prescriber Bag.
  • Increased screening for syphilis in pregnancy is recommended for women at high risk (see SA Perinatal Practice Guideline).
    • Testing recommended at initial visit, 28 weeks, 36 weeks, at birth and at 6 week postnatal check for
      Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women (or partners of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men) in an outbreak area.


Contact the SA Syphilis Register via the CDCB:

  • Telephone: 1300 232 272 during business hours  
  • Email: non-urgent enquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Further information, including links to above mentioned pages and fact sheets for health professionals and clients and families,
are  available at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/Syphilis
For all enquires please contact the CDCB on 1300 232 272 (24 hours/7 days)
Dr Louise Flood – Director, Communicable Disease Control Branch
Public – I4-A1

Download the official health alert here (PDF)
 

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