Building on strengths to support Aboriginal young people’s sexual health

UNSW, originally published May 2020

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project ‘What We Do Well’ has reached a milestone of halfway point and completion of the first major round of data collection, conducted by Aboriginal young people trained as part of the project to interview their peers.

‘What We Do Well’ is identifying the positive actions Aboriginal young people take to reduce their sexual risk and build sexual wellbeing. By describing the social, cultural and personal strengths and resources they draw on, the research will inform sexual health promotion practice to better support Aboriginal young people.

Multiple factors explain why middle-aged heterosexuals with new sexual partners don’t use condoms

nam/aidsmap

New strategies and approaches are needed to address the sexual health needs of middle-aged heterosexuals starting new relationships, research published in Sexually Transmitted Infections suggests.

The UK study involved men and women aged between 40 and 59 years with, or considering, new sexual partners after the break-up of a long-term relationship. In-depth interviews showed that beliefs about sexual risk were frequently based on past rather than current circumstances and that individuals often felt that existing sexual health services were geared towards the needs of younger people.

Hepatitis C – Peer insights on barriers and motivators to Direct-Acting Antiviral (DAA) treatment uptake

ARCSHS, 2018

The knowledge and experience of people who inject drugs (PWID) within peer programs is a vital asset to strategies for the scale-up of DAA treatment among PWID (Brown and Reeders, 2016). This study is focused on translating these “real time” peer insights into resources that support policy and programs to tailor to the needs of communities of people who inject.

This tailoring is critical to achieving the goal of eliminating hepatitis C. This broadsheet is the first of a series that will be produced over the duration of the project. This series will present current peer insights from the peer workers and other members of the people who inject community on the access to and uptake of the new hepatitis C treatment.

This broadsheet provides background to the study and presents an overview of the attitudes, beliefs and experiences of PWID related to the access and scale-up of direct acting antiviral treatment among this community.

A research project by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society in collaboration with peer-based organisations – Peer Based Harm Reduction WA, NSW Users and AIDS Association and Harm Reduction Victoria.

Rosie in the Classroom: Lesson plans for teachers

Rosie, a national harm prevention initiative by the Dugdale Trust for Women & Girls.

Rosie in the Classroom is an educational program based on the original Rosie Videos, created to assist teachers in talking about difficult but important topics.

Topics like sexting or respect in relationships should be incorporated into the curriculum so that all teenagers are aware of their rights and can encourage respect within their school community. Each module includes a downloadable lesson plan and video which can be screened in class.

These lesson plans have been written by Briony O’Keeffe, lead teacher at Fitzroy High School and facilitator of the Fitzroy High School Feminist Collective.

 

Using Chosen Names Reduces Odds of Depression and Suicide in Transgender Youths

The University of Texas at Austin, Tue, April 3, 2018

In one of the largest and most diverse studies of transgender youths to date, researchers led by a team at The University of Texas at Austin have found that when transgender youths are allowed to use their chosen name in places such as work, school and at home, their risk of depression and suicide drops.     

“Many kids who are transgender have chosen a name that is different than the one that they were given at birth,” said author Stephen T. Russell, professor and chair of human development and family science. “We showed that the more contexts or settings where they were able to use their preferred name, the stronger their mental health was.”

 

Intercourse, age of initiation and contraception among adolescents in Ireland

BMC Public Health 2018 18:362 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5217-z

Abstract

Background

The need to tackle sexual health problems and promote positive sexual health has been acknowledged in Irish health policy. Young people’s sexual behaviour however remains under-researched with limited national data available.

Methods

This study presents the first nationally representative and internationally comparable data on young people’s sexual health behaviours in Ireland. Self-complete questionnaire data were collected from 4494 schoolchildren aged 15–18 years as part of a broader examination of health behaviour and their context. The prevalence of sexual initiation, very early sexual initiation (< 14 years) and non-condom use at last intercourse are reported and used as outcomes in separate multilevel logistic regression models examining associations between sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle characteristics and young people’s sexual behaviours.

Results

Overall, 25.7% of boys and 21.2% of girls were sexually initiated. Older age was consistently predictive of initiation for both boys and girls, as were alcohol, tobacco and cannabis involvement, living in poorer neighbourhoods and having good communication with friends. Involvement in music and drama was protective. Very early sexual initiation (< 14 years) was reported by 22.8% of sexually initiated boys and 13.4% of sexually initiated girls, and was consistently associated with rural living, cannabis involvement and bullying others for both. Boys’ very early initiation was predicted by alcohol involvement, receiving unhealthy food from parents and taking medication for psychological symptoms, whereas better communication with friends and more experience of negative health symptoms were protective. Girls’ very early initiation was predicted by being bullied and belonging to a non-Traveller community, whereas taking medication for physical symptoms and attending regular health checks was protective. Condom use was reported by 80% of sexually initiated students at last intercourse. Boys’ condom use was associated with older age, higher family affluence, bullying others, more frequent physical activity and health protective behaviours. For girls, condom use was predicted by belonging to a non-Traveller community, healthy food consumption, higher quality of life and being bullied, whereas taking medication for physical and psychological symptoms was associated with non-condom use.

Conclusions

These nationally representative research findings highlight the importance of focusing on young people as a distinct population subgroup with unique influences on their healthsexual health requiring targeted interventions and policy.