WA Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Strategy 2015–2018

Icon: Links to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Strategy 2015–2018 – prevention and education Icon: Links to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Strategy 2015–2018 – testing and diagnosis Icon: Links to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Strategy 2015–2018 – disease management and clinical care
Icon: Links to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Strategy 2015–2018 – workforce development Icon: Links to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Strategy 2015–2018 – enabling environment Icon: Links to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Strategy 2015–2018 – research, evaluation and surveillance

The goals of the WA Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Strategy 2015–2018 are to reduce the transmission of, and morbidity and mortality caused by STIs, and to minimise the personal and social impact of the infections.

The WA STI strategy is based on a strong partnership approach and collective action between government, non-government, healthcare and research organisations.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are an important public health issue.

STIs represent a significant burden of disease in Western Australia (WA), with young people and Aboriginal people disproportionately affected.

Despite educational campaigns, high levels of STIs continue to occur in WA, with the incidence in some areas being at epidemic levels.

Reducing the transmission and prevalence of STIs is dependent on a comprehensive, integrated and sustained health promotion and disease prevention approach with emphasis on increasing testing rates across WA, with a particular focus on the priority target groups of young people and Aboriginal people.

Download the WA Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Strategy 2015–2018 (PDF 1MB).

Most common STIs

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported notifiable disease in Australia.

In WA in 2014 there were 11,417 cases notified to WA Health. This was a slight decrease on the previous 12 month period. However it was still a 5 per cent increase compared to the historical 5 year average.

Young people aged 15 to 24 years represented 58 per cent of notifications in 2014.

Gonorrhoea

In 2014 WA Health gonorrhoea notifications rose by 12 per cent compared to 2013. The risk category with the greatest increase was ‘men who have sex with men’ (MSM).

As antibacterial resistance to Neisseria gonorrhoeae increases globally, WA Health must also monitor resistance levels statewide.

Strategies

Third National Sexually Transmitted Infections Strategy 2014–2017

In 2014 the Australian Government Department of Health launched the Third National Sexually Transmitted Infections Strategy 2014–2017 (external site). This strategy provides direction for coordinated action to reduce STI:

  • transmission
  • morbidity
  • mortality.

WA STI Strategy 2015–2018

The WA STI Strategy 2015–2018 will build upon the previous successes achieved through the National STI Strategy and the WA STI Model of Care Implementation Plan 2010–2014 (PDF 2.42MB). These include:

  • national human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program expanded to adolescent males
  • increases in testing rates for chlamydia and gonorrhoea
  • decrease in rates of STIs in WA Aboriginal people compared with non-Aboriginal people
  • implementation of the online chlamydia testing program
  • amendments to the Poisons Regulations (1965) to allow nurses to distribute specific medications for STI treatment in remote areas
  • launch of STI training resources for health professionals.

Priority populations

The strategy’s priority populations include:

  • young people
  • Aboriginal people
  • gay men and other men who have sex with men
  • sex workers
  • culturally and linguistically diverse people
  • travellers and mobile workers
  • people in custodial settings.

Monitoring and evaluation

Progress against the WA STI Strategy 2015–2018 will be collated in the WA STI Strategy 2015–2018 – Monitoring and Evaluation Framework. This will be updated regularly.

Other sources of data on STIs include the: 

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