Higher notification rates of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) are reported among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Aboriginal) compared with non-Aboriginal people in Australia. The aim of this study is to estimate the pooled prevalence of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomonas among Aboriginal people in Australia by sex, age group, setting (clinic vs population/community-based) and population group [adults, pregnant females, young people (12–29 years) and prisoners]. The databases Medline, PubMed and Web of Science were searched in May 2015. A meta-analysis was conducted to estimate the pooled prevalence of the four STIs in Aboriginal people and if possible, by gender, age-group, setting and population group. A total of 46 studies were included. The pooled prevalence was 11.2% (95%CI: 9.4–13.0%) for chlamydia (36 studies), 12.5% (95%CI: 10.5–14.6%) for gonorrhoea (28 studies), 16.8% (95%CI: 11.0–22.6%) for syphilis (13 studies) and 22.6% (95%CI: 18.5–26.7%) for trichomonas (11 studies); however, there was significant heterogeneity between studies (I2 <97.5%, P < 0.01). In the subgroup analysis, a higher pooled prevalence occurred in females than males for chlamydia (12.7% vs 7.7%) and gonorrhoea (10.7% vs 8.1%). The prevalence of chlamydia was 12.4% in clinic-based compared with 4.3% in population-based studies. The highest pooled prevalence by population group was among pregnant females (16.8%) and young people (16.2%) for chlamydia, pregnant females (25.2%) for trichomonas; and young people for gonorrhoea (11.9%). This review highlights the need to decrease the prevalence of STIs among Aboriginal people through community-based programs that target asymptomatic young people.
- Sexual health
- Sexually transmissible infection