Youth Week 2015 – It Starts With Us
Improving sexual health information and STI testing for young people in Western NSW
Young people aged 15-24 years have the highest rates of Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs) in NSW with over 12,000 Chlamydia notifications last year.
As a partner for Youth Week 2015, running from 10-19 April, Western NSW Health Local Health District is helping to increase the awareness of sexual health and STIs for young people and improve access to local sexual health services.
The Health District will be supporting a range of events and activities promoting sexual health messages to young people throughout western NSW.
These include ‘Pee for Three Sexual Health Campaign’ hosted by Dubbo Sexual Health in partnership with headspace Dubbo and Dubbo Family Planning from March 23rd until April 17th 2015. The ‘Pee for Three’ campaign addresses the dramatic rise in Chlamydia infection in Australia within the 16-25y age group. It is known as a silent infection, with most people having no symptoms, thus the project asks males and females to provide a urine sample to test for Chlamydia and enter draw to win a $300 gift voucher. For further information contact Margaret Crowley on 0268412480
Orange Sexual Health are hosting a series of activities including an Orange and Dubbo Sexual health week long Facebook ‘Pee in the Pot’ campaign from 96 Kite Street commencing 10th April, working in partnership with the Community Adolescent Mental Health Unit to promote awareness of Chlamydia infection, sexual health and an opportunity for testing, and the Glenroi Wall Mural project 14th April.
Events are also occurring in Walgett/Lightning Ridge, and in Bathurst at the City Center on April 16th hosted by the Bathurst Youth Interagency Group including a ‘chill out zone’ where young people can come and relax in a chilled-out environment and access a variety of youth services including headspace,.
Georgiana Simpson, Coordinator Blood Borne Virus Prevention, HIV & Related Programs (HARP) said sexual health is an essential but sometime overlooked part of being a healthy young person.
“Each year, we are seeing increased STI rates among young people, particularly for Chlamydia, which saw a 10 per cent increase in 2014 compared to 2013 in NSW,” Ms Simpson said.
“Youth Week provides an opportunity to focus and remind young people about their sexual health, why it’s important and where they can receive confidential, free advice and STI testing locally.”
For Youth Week 2015, the Health District will be supporting sexual health training to youth sector staff in local areas, the Condom Credit Card scheme to provide wider access to free condoms in youth services, pop-up chlamydia testing at Youth Week events and a state-wide sexual health online competition ‘Are you a Sexpert?’ to encourage young people to positively participate around sexual health.
Ms Simpson said Youth Week supports youth and youth health workers to improve their ability to have conversations about sexual health.
“It’s a unique approach designed by young people in NSW to create ways to talk with each other about sexual health, improve access to sexual health information and condoms,”Ms Simpson said.
For more information on sexual health services across Western NSW Local Health District contact Orange Sexual Health 1800 816 925 or Dubbo 1800 851 700 or visit the Play Safe website for sexual health information and the opportunity to email Nurse Nettie for prompt, confidential sexual health advice. www.playsafe.health.nsw.gov.au