14 January 2019

Hundreds get festival STI tests

In a bold new health initiative, 460 festival goers accessed free STI tests at Falls Festival in Fremantle recently.

The Department of Health offered free onsite testing for gonorrhoea and chlamydia at the popular music festival as part of a broader public health program to reduce rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood-borne viruses in Western Australia.

Many people who tested at the festival were motivated by the convenience factor. Testing is quick and simple. Festival goers provided a urine sample with those who tested positive notified by phone within 10 days.

Three per cent of those who tested were positive for chlamydia. None tested positive for gonorrhoea.

Young people aged 16 to 24 years are a key risk group for STIs. In the 12 months to 30 September 2018, this age group accounted for 51 per cent of all chlamydia notifications in WA and 30 per cent of gonorrhoea notifications.

For more information about sexual health and to take a free online STI test, visit couldihaveit.com.au (external site).