Northern NSW numbers are on track to match 2019’s numbers despite COVID-19.
Northern NSW numbers are on track to match 2019’s numbers despite COVID-19.

REVEALED: Sexually transmitted diseases in Northern NSW

THE coronavirus pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works for many things but sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are still tracking to be on par with 2019 numbers.

Using data provided on the NSW Health website, there were 454 reported cases of chlamydia in Northern NSW halfway through the year after recording 908 in 2019.

Meanwhile, there were 90 reported cases gonorrhoea in Northern NSW after 180 cases were reported last year. HIV is without data from 2020.

In good news, Northern NSW maintains a similar rate of STD infection compared to the rest of the state in 2020.

According to a paper from the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (AHSM) it's important to recognise "casual sex plays a very important social function for many individuals and communities."

The paper, provided as a recommendation to health practitioners, did have several points for people to maintain their sex life while being COVID-safe.

The paper suggests 'have online encounters using webcams, apps, sexting' if participants want to enjoy encounters while observing social distancing' and where 'feasible' to avoid group sexual encounters.

Most importantly, the paper recommends not having an encounter with someone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 including "a sore throat, cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny/blocked nose, headache, loss of smell/taste, diarrhoea, muscle aches or joint pains."

The paper also encourages participants maintain contact details "in the case of a positive COVID-19 test result, either directly or via an anonymous service such as web based SMS."