FIFO workers to blame for rise in STIs

The Australian Medical Association says fly-in fly-out work in Queensland has led significant increases in sexually transmitted infections in mining communities.

The Daily Mercury reports AMA Queensland president Dr Richard Kidd said bored and cashed-up FIFO workers were to blame for the increases, which were only happening in mining communities.

Kidd said gonorrhoea cases had doubled over four to five years, and syphilis had also risen by two thirds.

He told the Daily Mercury Chlamydia was also up one third since 2007.

"These increases are not happening on the Gold Coast, it's the rest of Queensland," he said.

Earlier this year University of New England associate professor John Scott, an expert in rural sex work, told Australian Mining sex work had always occurred near mining camps and frontier communities, and the latest cases were not a new trend.

Scott also said there was little evidence to suggest a rise in rural sex work translated to a rise in sexually transmitted infections in a mining community.

“Sex workers going to mining towns are professionals who know how to manage and run their business,” he said.

“They can’t afford to contract diseases as it’s not good for business.”

The AMA has previously raised concerns about STIs in mining communities, and has told the Government FIFO inquiry mining companies need to make larger contributions to rural health services.

Image: CQ Plane Spotting

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