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Eliminating syphilis in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Francis J Bowden
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (3): 158.

To the Editor: In their article on the decline of infectious syphilis in the Australian Indigenous population from 2005 to 2009,1 Ward and colleagues conclude that it “might be the right time to move toward the elimination of infectious syphilis from remote Indigenous communities”. They note that another previously endemic sexually transmitted infection, donovanosis, has almost completely disappeared from Australia as a result of an elimination program.2 I strongly support their call to action and believe that syphilis can, and should, be next.

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  • Francis J Bowden

  • ANU Medical School, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.

Correspondence: frank.bowden@act.gov.au

  • 1. Ward JS, Guy RJ, Akre SP, et al. Epidemiology of syphilis in Australia: moving toward elimination of infectious syphilis from remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities? Med J Aust 2011; 194: 525-529. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Bowden FJ. Donovanosis in Australia: going, going... Sex Transm Infect 2005; 81: 365-366.
  • 3. Pourbohloul B, Rekart ML, Brunham RC. Impact of mass treatment on syphilis transmission: a mathematical modeling approach. Sex Transm Dis 2003; 30: 297-305.
  • 4. Mackay IM, Harnett G, Jeoffreys N, et al. Detection and discrimination of herpes simplex viruses, Haemophilus ducreyi, Treponema pallidum, and Calymmatobacterium (Klebsiella) granulomatis from genital ulcers. Clin Infect Dis 2006; 42: 1431-1438.

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