02 September 2015

New strategies to tackle sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne viruses

An increased focus on the prevention, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood-borne viruses (BBVs) are the main goals outlined in a suite of new WA Health sexual health strategies.

Launched today, the strategies cover STIs, HIV, hepatitis B and C, and Aboriginal STIs and BBVs.

“These strategies demonstrate WA Health’s commitment to prevent, test, treat and minimise the personal and social impact of BBVs and STIs,” WA Health’s Chief Health Officer Professor Tarun Weeramanthri said.

“Notifications for STIs and BBVs have increased in Western Australia over the past decade, and while we have made significant gains in recent years, there is still much work to be done.”

Professor Weeramanthri said the new strategies outlined ambitious goals such as building awareness among priority populations, continuing to provide coordinated and responsive training and resources, improving testing rates by increasing access and awareness, and improving models of care.

“The strategies were developed in partnership with community and industry stakeholders and will be evaluated regularly to ensure they remain responsive to community needs,” Professor Weeramanthri said.

“Each strategy is supported by a short video featuring key stakeholders, government and non-government representatives and consumers.”

Professor Weeramanthri said the strategies targeted different audiences including:

  • young people
  • people who choose to inject drugs
  • Aboriginal people
  • people in, or who have recently exited custodial settings
  • gay men men who have sex with men
  • culturally and linguistically diverse groups
  • sex workers
  • travellers and mobile workers
  • people living with BBVs
  • people from countries with a high prevalence of STIs and BBVs.

To see the strategies visit the WA Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Strategies 2015–2018 web page.

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