The role of short term population movement in sustaining STI prevalence in remote Australian Indigenous communities

Ben B. Hui, Richard T. Gray, David P. Wilson, James S. Ward, Anthony M.A. Smith, David J. Philp, Matthew G. Law, Jane S. Hocking, David G. Regan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

For almost two decades, diagnosis rates of sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea have been notably higher for residents of remote Indigenous communities than for non-Indigenous Australians. High levels of population movement between remote communities may be a contributing factor in sustaining these high rates. We developed an individual-based computer simulation model to study the relationship between population movement and the persistence of STIs within multiple small communities. We examine the distribution of infection across locations and the impact of mobility and periodicity on prevalence over a range of location- and time-specific screening interventions. Our findings suggest that: 1) short-term population movement, along with periodic variations in travel patterns allow STIs to persist at a high level in multiple small populations; 2) infection is not evenly distributed across populations, with more than 80% of infection concentrated at the most populous location, despite this locations only comprising 72% of the total population at a given time; 3) maintaining screening coverage at the current level (44% of population screened annually) in small locations alone has limited impact on STI prevalence in the overall population; reduction in prevalence is unlikely to be achieved unless screening coverage and frequency are increased substantially or screening is expanded to include larger regional centres prevalence is higher; 4) population mobility can influence the outcomes of location- and time-specific screening interventions; interventions should be scheduled to occur during periods of low mobility when individuals are more likely to be at home and have access to local health services.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 20th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, MODSIM 2013
EditorsJulia Piantadosi, Robert Anderssen, John Boland
PublisherModelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc. (MSSANZ)
Pages2034-2040
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780987214331
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2013
Event20th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation - Adapting to Change: The Multiple Roles of Modelling, MODSIM 2013 - Held jointly with the 22nd National Conference of the Australian Society for Operations Research, ASOR 2013 and the DSTO led Defence Operations Research Symposium, DORS 2013 - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 1 Dec 20136 Dec 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings - 20th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, MODSIM 2013

Other

Other20th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation - Adapting to Change: The Multiple Roles of Modelling, MODSIM 2013 - Held jointly with the 22nd National Conference of the Australian Society for Operations Research, ASOR 2013 and the DSTO led Defence Operations Research Symposium, DORS 2013
CountryAustralia
CityAdelaide
Period1/12/136/12/13

Keywords

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Indigenous populations
  • Mobility
  • Prevalence
  • Remote communities
  • STI transmission
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management
  • Modelling and Simulation

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