The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
To answer a key question ('Are Australian sexual health clinics attracting priority populations?'), we used data from 44 Australian sexual health clinics between 2004 and 2011. We assessed the proportion of patients that were from priority populations (deemed to be at risk of sexually transmissible infections) and compared this to their proportions in the general population using data from Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Study of Health and Relationships. A χ(2)-test was used. A total of 278154 new patients attended during 2004-2011. The proportions from each priority population were significantly higher (P<0.01 for all) than for the general population: young people aged 15-29 years (58.1% v. 20.1%), men who have sex with men (26.0% v. 6.0%), female sex workers (10.8% v. 0.5%), and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (4.2% v. 2.3%). This study confirms that Australian sexual health clinics attract higher proportions of priority populations and are thus meeting their mandate as defined in the 2010-2013 National Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy.
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