Women and Sexual and Reproductive Health Position Paper: Second Edition, 2019

Australian Women’s Health Network Inc., 2019

The Australian Women’s Health Network first published its Women and Sexual and Reproductive Health Position Paper in 2012. Since then significant work has been undertaken across Australia in this area and a number of its recommendations have been implemented. This has resulted in a robust on going public conversation and a greater understanding of women’s sexual and reproductive ill health, its impact, what drives it and how best to prevent it. These gains have only been possible through continuing evidence-informed advocacy, research and practice development.

In light of the new knowledge and experience available, and changes to the political, organisational and social landscape in 2019, the Australian Women’s Health Network has updated its Women and Sexual and Reproductive Health paper to produce
this Second Edition.

This paper advocates for a rights-based approach to ensuring all women can access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care appropriate to their needs,
regardless of their location, age, sexuality, financial status and religious and cultural background. It explores seven key areas through which good sexual and reproductive
health for Australian women can be achieved.

These are:

1. promoting positive and respectful attitudes to sex and sexuality

2. developing women’s health literacy

3. increasing reproductive choice

4. facilitating women’s health throughout pregnancy and birth

5. expanding prevention and treatment of reproductive cancers and menstrual issues

6. improving prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

7. equipping the health workforce to better respond to women’s health needs.

STI’S on the rise in SA – free campaign resources (SHINE SA media release)

SHINE SA, April 2, 2019

Sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates are on the rise in South Australia, with around 1 in 20 young people infected with chlamydia¹. Left untreated chlamydia can lead to infection of the reproductive systems and long term consequences. Having one STI also increases the risk of being infected with another. As such it’s important that young people in SA are encouraged to practise safer sex as well as getting a sexual health check.

In response to this rise in STIs, SHINE SA is excited to announce the launch of their Sexual Health Check campaign and related resources for use across South Australia. These resources can be used by organisations including universities, secondary schools, youth services, general practice and community health services.

The Sexual Health Check campaign aims to raise awareness of STIs as well as highlight how easy it is to get a sexual health check.
According to the most recent epidemiological report released by SA Health in 2017, STI and blood borne viruses (BBVs) have jumped 14% compared to the previous five years.

In 2017:

  • there were 8,181 new infections of STIs and BBVs, this is a 7% increase compared to 2016
  • 77% of infections were in people aged 15 to 29 years.

SHINE SA encourages young people to receive a sexual health check at a SHINE SA clinic, their local doctor or Aboriginal Health service. SHINE SA offers FREE sexual health checks as well as counselling to South Australians under the age of 30 with a Medicare Card.

Dr Amy Moten, SHINE SA’s Coordinator of Medical Education said:
“STIs are on the rise, so practicing safer sex and having regular testing is vital. Left untreated, serious infection may occur and lead to complications such as infertility, chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancy. As most people don’t have any symptoms, lack of testing contributes to the continued spread of the disease”.

SHINE SA hopes other health and education organisations and media outlets can assist by promoting and sharing the Sexual Health Check campaign. By doing so we can help raise awareness of STIs in the community and encourage young people to access sexual heath checks.

  • The free campaign resources including a Sexual Health + STIs FAQ booklet, posters and social media tiles can be downloaded here
  • For further information contact Tracey Hutt, Director Workforce Education and Development, by email here 
  • Download this media release

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¹ http://www.sti.guidelines.org.au/populations-and-situations/young-people

 

 

STIs in remote Australia

ABC Health Report, Monday 18 March 2019 5:45 PM

Leading Aboriginal researcher Associate Professor James Ward* is calling for action in remote Australia to deal with a preventable epidemic of sexually transmissible infections — including syphilis — in a population that’s no more sexually active than non-Indigenous people of the same age.  

He joined Dr Norman Swan’s Health Report on ABC RN.

Later this month James will present to the National Rural Health Conference about addressing sexually transmitted infections in remote Australia.

*James Ward is Associate Professor, Flinders University; & Head of Infectious Diseases Research, Aboriginal Health, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. 

 

 

‘Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health’ Program: Country South Australia

SHINE SA, March 2019

With rising national rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and in particular chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, it’s important that SHINE SA support those at the frontline of diagnosis and prevention – general practitioners. SHINE SA has recently been funded by Country SA PHN to deliver a program to support rural and regional health workers.

The Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health Program aims to help build capacity and skills around sexual health through education, personalised support and information.

Education and training will be offered in regional areas of South Australia and will focus on addressing the current syphilis outbreak and the ongoing chlamydia epidemic.

RAINING AND EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES

Through this program SHINE SA will provide opportunities for information, resources, education and training. These opportunities can be both formal and informal depending on needs.

This will include:

  • evening education session/s (see below)
  • webinar and case presentations
  • personalised support including telephone advice
  • information for health practices located in the region
  • increasing access to formal certificate qualifications where relevant

SHINE SA is currently applying for RACGP QI/CPD points for the regional evening education sessions.

REGIONS

This program will reach the following regions:

  • Murray Mallee Region
  • Lower North
  • Mid North & Yorke Peninsula
  • Whyalla
  • Barossa

General practitioners, nurses and/or midwives, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Aboriginal Health Workers in these regions are encouraged to express interest in receiving training from SHINE SA.

COST

FREE! There is no cost for education and training for those eligible.

TO PARTICIPATE

To express interest in this program please fill out the form here:
Expressions of Interest – Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health Program

You can also enrol in the free education sessions:

Sexually Transmitted Infections – Strategies For General Practice
These sessions will give an update of STIs focusing on the current syphilis outbreak and the ongoing chlamydia epidemic.

For any further questions please contact SHINE SA’s Program Lead: Edwina Jachimowicz via email 

COURSE DATES

Murray Bridge – Sexually Transmitted Infections – Strategies for General Practice

Date: 10 April 2019
Time: 6:15pm registration, 6:45 dinner served, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Location:  Adelaide Road Motor Lodge, 212 Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge SA 5253
Status: Open

ENROL NOW

Berri – Sexually Transmitted Infections – Strategies for General Practice

Date: 02 May 2019
Time: 6:15pm registration, 6:45 dinner served, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Location: Berri Hotel,Riverview Drive, Berri SA 5343
Status: Open

Expressions of Interest – Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health Program: Country South Australia

Date: 15 June 2019
Status: Open

EXPRESS INTEREST NOW

Update on multi-drug resistant shigella

SHINE SA, 7/3/2019

The shigella outbreak is continuing in South Australia. This is to advise clinicians to be on alert for a potential increase in shigella cases, and to highlight updated recommendations on treatment as released by the Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB).

The outbreak is predominantly in men who have sex with men (MSM) and there is a potential for further increase in numbers related to a larger outbreak in Victoria and NSW. We encourage you to be alert for clients who have recently traveled interstate.The CDCB is now recommending that patients with confirmed multi-drug resistant (MDR) shigella (or at risk of MDR shigella while awaiting sensitivities) be treated with five days of Ceftrixaone 1g IV, rather than 1 day (as recommended in the Public Health Alert issued in December 2018).

Condom handouts in schools prevent disease without encouraging sex

The Guardian,

Making condoms available to teenagers at school does not make them more promiscuous – but neither does it reduce teenage pregnancy rates.

According to a major review by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), giving out condoms in secondary schools does not increase sexual activity, or encourage young people to have sex at an earlier age.

The research, thought to be the largest review of scientific literature on the issue, found that introducing condoms to schools reduced sexually transmitted infections (STIs).