The Health News Australia November 20 2017

  • A sexually transmitted disease that may be infecting up to 700,000 Australians without them knowing is becoming so resistant to treatment it may soon become as great a health risk as chlamydia, doctors have warned. Mycoplasma genitalium is developing resistance to antibiotics at what health professionals say is an alarming rate.
  • Griffith University has trialled a new webinar program, designed to increase awareness and understanding of the sexual desires of people with dementia, among aged care workers and other health professionals. The study was developed by Doctor Cindy Jones from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute, and involved the evaluation of six, weekly interactive live webinars. The webinars looked at the expression of sexuality by people with dementia living in residential aged care facilities.
  • Australia’s state and federal governments are being urged to follow in Canada’s footsteps and sue tobacco companies so they can claw back billions of dollars spent treating smoking-related illnesses. Health experts say while Australia led the world in introducing plain-packaging for tobacco products, smoking remains the country’s leading preventable cause of death and disease, with estimated annual costs of at least thirty $31.5 billion.  

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 20th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-18/resistant-sti-may-soon-be-as-great-health-risk-as-chlamydia/9162974

A sexually transmitted disease that may be infecting up to seven hundred thousand Australians without them knowing is becoming so resistant to treatment it may soon become as great a health risk as chlamydia, doctors have warned. Mycoplasma genitalium is developing resistance to antibiotics at what health professionals say is an alarming rate. Much like chlamydia, many people do not know when they have it, but it can increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, urethritis and spontaneous abortion in those infected. Health groups have raised the alarm at the disease’s ability to develop a strong resistance to antibiotics, particularly the drug azithromycin, which until recently had been a reliable defence.….

Sexual health physician Doctor Lewis Marshall believes many young Australians are still putting themselves at risk by not practising safe sex. He said  “I don’t think that safe-sex message is getting through to young people and it’s young people that tend to get these STIs because they are the ones who tend to have most partner change.”
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Doctor Marshall is part of a team working to change the national guidelines on how to treat mycoplasma genitalium, which will be released early next year.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/dementia/64/news/nm/griffith-trials-live-webinars-to-improve-understanding-of-sexuality-for-people-with-dementia/3028/

Griffith University has trialled a new webinar program, designed to increase awareness and understanding of the sexual desires of people with dementia, among aged care workers and other health professionals. The study was developed by Doctor Cindy Jones from Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute, and involved the evaluation of six, weekly interactive live webinars. The webinars looked at the expression of sexuality by people with dementia living in residential aged care facilities.
….
Issues relating to sexuality for people with dementia, particularly those living in aged care facilities, have typically been placed in the ‘too hard basket’, according to Doctor Jones, who said the subject is not covered at all by Dementia Training Australia. She said: “Sexual feelings, desires and needs of people with dementia and their partners can be affected by the disease and can be very difficult to discuss with staff.”

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Doctor Jones said the webinars were positively received, with practice change also reported from newly gained knowledge and skills. Doctor Jones believes providing education to care staff to improve their knowledge and attitudes on sexuality in relation to older people, particularly those with dementia, is crucial. She said that policy and guidelines should also be developed to assist care staff in responding to expression of sexuality by older people in care environment.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/11/20/australian-governments-urged-sue-tobacco-companies-smoking-related-illnesses

Australia’s state and federal governments are being urged to follow in Canada’s footsteps and sue tobacco companies so they can claw back billions of dollars spent treating smoking-related illnesses. Health experts say while Australia led the world in introducing plain-packaging for tobacco products, smoking remains the country’s leading preventable cause of death and disease, with estimated annual costs of at least thirty one point five billion dollars.
They want governments to keep up the pressure on tobacco companies and consider taking legal action to help recover some of those costs.

Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest is lobbying state and federal governments to raise the legal smoking age from eighteen to twenty one. His campaign has already been backed by the major health bodies, but faces an uphill struggle to eventuate. Greek-Australians east of Melbourne fear a new ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas will damage their cultural heritage. Brought in this week, the new ban is upsetting the mainly Greek-born customers of Oakleigh’s Eaton Mall.
Macquarie University health studies lecturer Doctor Ross MacKenzie, Curtin University’s professor of health policy Mike Daube and Canadian tobacco control consultant Eric LeGresley wrote that while legal action would be costly for governments to pursue, public support for tobacco control has never been stronger. They argue Australian governments could follow action taken by the Canadian province of British Columbia, the first jurisdiction in the Commonwealth to launch legal action to recover tobacco-related health care costs in nineteen ninety eight.

Their calls come just weeks after mining billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest announced plans to launch legal action against tobacco firms in an attempt to gain billions of dollars in compensation for damage caused by smoking.  Smoking-related illnesses currently kill fifteen thousand Australians a year.

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