AIM--To document trends in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) recorded by New Zealand STD Clinics from 1977-1993. METHODS--Clinic disease figures have been recorded since clinics commenced in the 1920s and were recorded in a comprehensive format from the 1970s. The New Zealand Venereological Society has collated these data since 1986. RESULTS--The most common STDs in New Zealand clinics are genital warts, non-specific genital infections, chlamydia and genital herpes. Genital Wart infection has been the commonest STD diagnosed in clinics since 1988 and occurred in 17.9% of new patients in 1993. Non Specific Genital Infections were the commonest diagnosis from 1977 to 1988 affecting 17.5% of new patients in 1993. Chlamydia has shown a fall since the mid 1980s diagnosed in 5.4% of new patients in 1993 compared with 14.6% in 1986. Gonorrhoea incidence has fallen steadily since 1975 affecting only 1.1% new patients in 1993. Genital Herpes numbers tripled from 1977 to 1993 and 54% are primary cases. HIV Disease has increased clinic workload greatly with screening and counselling conducted in 25% of new patients in 1993. HIV disease was diagnosed or managed in 0.2% new clinic patients (49 cases). Syphilis has remained at a low incidence in New Zealand diagnosed in 0.3% new patients in 1993. CONCLUSION--Attendance for the viral diseases, HIV disease, genital warts and genital herpes is increasing while for the bacterial diseases, gonorrhoea and chlamydia is decreasing. The rise in disease numbers since 1990 may be due to meeting service needs rather than a true rise in disease incidence. STD surveillance in New Zealand is improving with new reporting systems being developed.
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