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The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin



The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin

Other title

Disease Control Bulletin


Territory Health Services, Centre for Disease Control


Northern Territory disease control bulletin; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Northern Territory disease control bulletin






Date:2002-03; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Communicable diseases; Reporting; Northern Territory; Statistics; Periodicals

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



Northern Territory disease control bulletin


v. 9 no. 1

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



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The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin Vol 9, No.1, March 2002 20 Bicillin update In October 2001, all health providers were notified of a national shortage in the availability of Bicillin LA. As a result, practitioners were advised to restrict the use of this medication. Interim guidelines were issued advising what conditions should continue to be managed with Bicillin and what should be managed with alternate medications. We are advised by the importers of the product that the situation has now improved and there are adequate supplies of Bicillin LA in the country. No further shortages are anticipated. Therefore, there is no need to continue the restrictions on the use of Bicillin LA. All practitioners are advised that they should now revert to the normal use of Bicillin LA. The CARPA Standard Treatment Manual recommends its use for: Acute Rheumatic Fever/Rheumatic Heart Disease treatment and prophylaxis (monthly BLA) Treatment of sore throats Treatment of skin infections Treatment of active and latent syphilis and the sexual partners of those patients. Review of guidelines for the management of Trichomonas vaginalis Jan Savage, AIDS/STD Program, CDC Darwin Management of the sexually transmitted infection Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) infection and guidelines to support this have become a source of confusion and concern for service providers and policy makers alike. In northern and central Australia there are undeniably high rates of TV infection in Indigenous people. It appears that a significant proportion do not have, or do not report symptoms of infection. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that TV is associated with more serious effects than simply genital discomfort. These complications include adverse pregnancy outcome such as prematurity, low birth weight infants and premature delivery of small-for-gestational-age infants and the enhanced transmission of HIV. The studies that have found these associations have used conventional methods of diagnosis of TV: microscopy and culture. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a newer diagnostic technique that was introduced into Australia in the 90s. It has been found to be highly suitable for use in remote Australia for the diagnosis of chlamydia, and to a lesser extent, gonorrhoea. It has been suggested that it may be equally useful to diagnose TV. There have been a number of studies confirming its high sensitivity and specificity in women but there has been little work done in men (fundamental for an STI). The relationship between PCR diagnosed TV infections and the development of complications is not clear, as PCR will theoretically pick up the presence of one organism/ml. That is, do people who have an absence of symptoms or low microbial load have the same risk of developing complications as those with florid genital inflammation? Any recommendations to change TV management guidelines (that is testing and treatment) must be considered in the context of the capacity of health care providers to implement them and involve those population groups most affected. From our analysis of the literature, it appears that at the very least there is a need for clinical research, a cost benefit analysis and consultation with communities and service providers to assist in this decision making process. The Indigenous Australians Sexual Health (sub) Committee to the Australian National Council on AIDS, hepatitis and related diseases and the Intergovernmental Committee on AIDS,