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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 5 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1663 ..


Health—sexual health outreach

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (10.08): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) recognises that sexual health is a vital component of a person's overall health and wellbeing;

(2) recognises that sexual health encompasses many inter-related areas, including reproductive health, relationships, identity, sexually transmissible infections (STI) and blood borne viruses (BBV), safety, education, prevention, testing and treatment;

(3) notes with concern the prevalence and rise of STIs and BBVs across Australia, including in the ACT, with:

(a) ACT notifications of infectious syphilis significantly increasing in 2017, with 33 notifications that calendar year compared with 13 in 2016 and 14 in 2015;

(b) chlamydia remaining one of the most common infectious diseases in the ACT and notifications steadily increasing since 2007, with 1457 cases reported in 2017 and 1576 cases in 2018;

(c) ACT notifications of gonorrhoea increasing each year since 2015, with the rate of gonococcal disease increasing from 36 per 100 000 population in 2015 to 78 per 100 000 population in 2018;

(d) 171 notifications for hepatitis B between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016, one newly-acquired and 84 unspecified notifications in 2017, and in 2018 there were 81 notifications of hepatitis B of unspecified duration;

(e) the notification of 29 newly-acquired and 343 unspecified cases of hepatitis C in the ACT between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016, nine newly-acquired and 129 unspecific cases in 2017, and seven newly-acquired and 132 unspecific cases in 2018; and

(f) the notification of 43 HIV cases in the ACT between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016, of which 24 were newly diagnosed, plus 13 new infections in 2017 and eight new infections in 2018;

(4) recognises that community-based outreach provides further opportunities to build sexual health literacy and awareness and increase rates of testing, particularly with at-risk communities and communities which might not otherwise be engaged;

(5) notes the sexual health promotion, testing and support services currently available in the ACT and the impact of these, including but not limited to:

(a) the Canberra Sexual Health Centre, Canberra Health Services, in Garran, which provides free STI and BBV testing, related sexual health concerns and HIV outpatient care, and outreach activities providing education, STI and BBV testing in a range of settings across the ACT, some of which are delivered with sexual health sector partner organisations;

(b) services provided by AIDS Action Council including health promotion, counselling, peer support programs for impacted communities, and advice on measures to prevent HIV;


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