Opinion: Relationships & sex education now mandatory in English schools – Australia should do the same

Jacqueline Hendriks,The Conversation, September 9, 2020 6.07am AEST

Relationships and sex education became compulsory throughout schools in England at the beginning of September 2020. In primary schools the course will focus on relationships, while secondary schools will include topics such as managing intimate relationships, consent and online behaviour.

Schools — including government, independent and faith-based — must also develop a specific relationships and sex education policy that reflects their community and involves engagement with families.

In contrast, Australia’s relationships and sex education response is not clearly directed or regulated. Its delivery varies widely and often fails to support the personal and social development of young people.

 

Trans and cis women and men all have similar levels of PrEP drugs in blood

nam/aidsmap, 7 September 2020

A study in which 24 trans women and 24 trans men who were taking gender-affirming hormone therapy were directly observed to take a daily dose of the standard formulation of the HIV prevention medication PrEP found that the levels of the two PrEP drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine were similar to the levels seen in similar cis men and women, and were all above levels associated with efficacy.

This study to some extent addresses concerns raised by a couple of other studies which had suggested that both levels of gender-affirming hormones and levels of PrEP could be lower in trans people taking PrEP, due to drug-drug interactions.

Shortage of norethisterone-containing pills in Australia: Advice for GPs

July/August 2020

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) advises:

Consumers and health professionals are advised that there is a shortage of oral contraceptive pills containing the combination ethinylestradiol and norethisterone.

The affected products are:

  • Brevinor – norethisterone 0.5 mg and ethinylestradiol 35 micrograms
  • Norimin – norethisterone 0.5 mg and ethinylestradiol 35 micrograms
  • Brevinor-1 – norethisterone 1 mg and ethinylestradiol 35 micrograms
  • Norimin-1 – norethisterone 1 mg and ethinylestradiol 35 micrograms.

All four products are sponsored by Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd.

Pfizer has advised the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) the shortage of these products is due to manufacturing issues and is expected to continue until mid-October 2020 and early December 2020, depending on the product. Further information about the shortage is available on the TGA’s Medicine Shortage Reports Database.

Meanwhile, SPHERE (NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women in Primary Care) have released a statement:

A global shortage of contraceptive pills containing the progestogen contrnorethisterone (NET) has led to shortages in Australia since March 2020. The reason for the shortages, as provided by the manufacturer Pfizer, is ‘’manufacturing delays’’ as the company states it is upgrading engineering on packaging lines and implementing additional packaging lines to rectify the shortages.

At the time of writing, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website indicates that the pills will become available in November-December 2020, however, there may be additional COVID-19-related delays.

Updated IMPLANON NXT Procedures Statement

SHINE SA, September 2020

The contraceptive implant (Implanon NXT) is one of the most effective contraceptives available. Along with the hormonal and copper IUDs, it is classified as Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) which are recommended as first-line options for all people choosing to use contraception.

SHINE SA wish to alert clinicians to important updated information about Implanon NXT procedures following an update of the product information in January 2020. These changes have been made to avoid the large blood vessels and nerves within and around the sulcus between biceps and triceps and reflect published research.

Digital chemsex support and care: The potential of just-in-time adaptive interventions

International Journal of Drug Policy, Volume 85, November 2020

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102927

T. Platteau, C. Herrijgers, J. de Wit

Abstract

Chemsex among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) has received increasing attention as a public health concern in recent years. Chemsex can affect a variety of aspects of the lives of GBMSM and contribute to physical, social and emotional health burden. Starting from a continuum perspective of chemsex, rather than a binary view of problematic vs. non-problematic use, we argue that men engaging in chemsex at different points in their chemsex journey may benefit from tailored and personalized support to cope with the various and evolving challenges and concerns that may be related to their chemsex behavior. To date, interactive digital communication technologies are not much used to provide support and care for GBMSM engaging in chemsex, neither for community-based support and care nor by health services. This suggests potential for missed opportunities, as GBMSM are generally avid users of these technologies for social connections and hookups, including in relation to chemsex. Recent research has provided emerging evidence of the potential effects of so-called just in time adaptive interventions (JITAI) to provide effective support and care for a variety of health issues. JITAI hold much promise for the provision of appropriate, tailored support and care for GBMSM at different points in the chemsex journey. Co-designing JITAI with potential users and other stakeholders (co-design) is key to success. At the Institute for Tropical Medicine, in Antwerp (Belgium), we initiated the Chemified project to develop an innovative digital chemsex support and care tool for GBMSM. This project illustrates how current understanding of chemsex as a journey can be integrated with a JITAI approach and make use of co-design principles to advance the available support and care for GBMSM engaging in chemsex.

 

 

Free online event – What Is Your Vision: The Future Of Abortion Care In Australia

Children by ChoiceFamily Planning NT, I Had One Too1800 My OptionsOur Bodies Our ChoicesSouth Australian Abortion Action CoalitionSexual Health Quarters WASPHERE and Women’s Health Tasmania, September 2020

What Is Your Vision: The Future Of Abortion Care In Australia Event Banner

Event time and date: Mon 28th Sep 2020, 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm AEST (NB: this event starts at 6.30 PM Adelaide Time)

About the event

Gina Rushton will be chatting to health consumers with lived experience, abortion care providers, advocates, policymakers, and you the audience about what the future of abortion care should and could look like in Australia.

This event will be exploring the Australian abortion landscape, recognising that each State and Territory has it’s own legal, cultural and practice context.

Our panellists:

  • Chrissie Bernasconi – Health Consumer
  • Dr Sarah McEwan – Wiradjuri woman and Medical Doctor
  • Hon Dr Sharman Stone – Professor of Practice for Gender, Peace and Security, Monash University
  • Dr Mark Farrugia – Rural GP and MTOP provider
  • Professor Deb Bateson – Medical Director, Family Planning NSW
  • Dr Suzanne Belton – Medical Anthropologist and Midwife

About the facilitator

Gina Rushton is a journalist who has written for BuzzFeed News, The Guardian, The Monthly, The Saturday Paper, Crikey, PRIMER and The Australian. She is a Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists media excellence award winner and Australian Human Rights Commission media award finalist for her coverage of reproductive rights.

About International Safe Abortion Day

28th of September is International Safe Abortion Day, the herstory of this day begins in Latin America and the Caribbean where women’s groups have been mobilizing around September 28 for the last two decades to demand their governments decriminalize abortions, provide access to safe and affordable abortion services and to end stigma and discrimination towards people who choose to have abortions.

Extra info

There will be an opportunity to ask questions in a Q&A – You can also submit a question prior to the event when you register.

This event is offered in accordance with Children by Choice’s pro-choice framework. Children by Choice reserve the right to refuse registrations and remove individuals from the event.