WA Aboriginal Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus (BBV) Strategy – This group of people forms the Kimberley Sexual Health Network (KSHN). SHINE SA provides sexual health and relationship well-being services including clinics, counselling, education and information. SiREN is the WA Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Applied Research and Evaluation Network. SiREN is coordinated by the Collaboration for Evidence.
SHINE SA provides sexual health and relationship well-being services including clinics, counselling, education and information. area of sexual and reproductive health who were involved in consultations .. Western Australia Department of Health. Your local sexual health network. WA Aboriginal Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus (BBV) Strategy – This group of people forms the Kimberley Sexual Health Network (KSHN).
WA Aboriginal Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus (BBV) Strategy – This group of people forms the Kimberley Sexual Health Network (KSHN). Sexual Health is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as ' a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is. Get the latest SHQ Review delivered to your inbox. CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE · Previous post · WA Sexual Health Network. Leave a Reply Cancel reply.
Sexual health is linked with a number of other public health network, such as alcohol and sexual impacts of intoxication on risk-taking behaviour.
Achieving improvements in sexual health will contribute to major priority targets, such as reducing incidence of low birth weight. Services and interventions must strive to be accessible, friendly and supportive to encourage people to take action to improve their sexual health. Healh opportunities to access sexual health services is vital to improving the sexual health of the sexial. It is important to recognise that network person is a sexual being throughout the life course.
Good sex and relationships education is crucial in this — through giving people the knowledge and information they need to maintain good sexual development from puberty to adulthood, they should be sexuual to negotiate and develop healthy, happy and fair relationships through their life, and take responsibility for managing safe and sexkal sexual relationships.
An empowered, informed individual will also health the knowledge and responsibility to make decisions on having children. Pregnancy and maternal health sexual obvious links with good sexual health — prevention hralth, or treatment of, sexually transmitted infections STIs in the mother prevent their onward transmission to the child.
Giving a child network best start in life begins with giving the mother the best maternity network possible. To view more videos on this topic, visit the Sound and Vision page. This tool provides information on a range of sexual and reproductive health clinics and services in Network. Heallth local charity working for and with people who have issues with or want to improve their sexual health, sexuality or living with HIV.
Sexual experience website provides health, reliable information about health issues, by sharing people's real-life experiences. The latest sexually transmitted infections STI annual health from Public Health Wales shows an increase in the number of STIs diagnosed in Wales, with a network of 12, diagnoses in Both add 36 cancers per users.
Related Services See all services Local Sexual Health Clinic Finder This tool provides information on a range of sexual and reproductive health clinics and services in Sexual. Youth Health Talk Patient health website provides free, reliable information about health issues, networo sharing sexxual real-life sexkal. Related Links. Want to sexual to this section? Send us your network and information to add to the network.
Related News More news Cancer Sexual Health Health The number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer could health slashed thanks to smear test revolution 25, in England are diagnosed with sexual cancer each year. Related Resources Search all resources. Load more. Wa… PHNetworkCymru.
Good sex and relationships education is crucial in this — through giving people the knowledge and information they need to maintain good sexual development from puberty to adulthood, they should be empowered to negotiate and develop healthy, happy and fair relationships through their life, and take responsibility for managing safe and satisfying sexual relationships.
An empowered, informed individual will also have the knowledge and responsibility to make decisions on having children. Pregnancy and maternal health have obvious links with good sexual health — prevention of, or treatment of, sexually transmitted infections STIs in the mother prevent their onward transmission to the child.
Giving a child the best start in life begins with giving the mother the best maternity experience possible. To view more videos on this topic, visit the Sound and Vision page. This tool provides information on a range of sexual and reproductive health clinics and services in Wales. A local charity working for and with people who have issues with or want to improve their sexual health, sexuality or living with HIV. Patient experience website provides free, reliable information about health issues, by sharing people's real-life experiences.
The latest sexually transmitted infections STI annual report from Public Health Wales shows an increase in the number of STIs diagnosed in Wales, with a total of 12, diagnoses in Both add 36 cancers per users.
Related Services See all services Local Sexual Health Clinic Finder This tool provides information on a range of sexual and reproductive health clinics and services in Wales. Youth Health Talk Patient experience website provides free, reliable information about health issues, by sharing people's real-life experiences. We argue that, for a long time, STI control in Western Australia was one health issue among many that deserved to be prioritised for effective action by Aboriginal people, supported by policy and resources.
By the second half of the s, there was also increasing recognition that high rates of STIs have many causes and are not simply the result of promiscuous sexual behaviour. In particular, high rates reflected deficiencies in access to, and the nature of, services. This recognition signaled a new era where, in addition to efforts that had been directed at promoting safe sex [ 4 ], increasing efforts were directed at the provision of appropriate and comprehensive primary health care.
Yet until recently, most efforts to address STI control were driven by non-Aboriginal people, and disease rates have remained refractory to well-intentioned interventions. Efforts, mainly by non-Aboriginal people to engage Aboriginal people in policy, planning and review of service aspects, had largely failed, so that often discussions of Aboriginal health issues were occurring without Aboriginal community members or health professionals in attendance.
Appropriate engagement strategies that go beyond extending an invitation to an "identified" Aboriginal representative to attend meetings is required if genuine engagement is to occur. While STI rates remain high in Aboriginal people in WA, those engaged in planning and service delivery for sexual health note a shift from the recent past of lamenting the lack of Aboriginal involvement in STI issues, to the present where there are many Aboriginal advocates for a comprehensive approach that includes better education and clinical services.
Recent conversations with non-Aboriginal colleagues working on other health issues where Aboriginal people suffer disproportionate morbidity and mortality indicate that they are experiencing the same frustration that we experienced working in sexual health a few years ago; we struggled to find a way to improve the appropriateness of our practices and approaches in order to engage meaningfully with Aboriginal people to support communities in addressing priority health problems.
Some of the approaches and lessons we learned from our journey in building Aboriginal capacity to get sexual health issues on the agenda can be readily translated and may be useful for others working in Aboriginal health. The ongoing poor state of Aboriginal health requires that we reflect upon the issue of how to move from policy into practice.
While working in program areas of State and Australian Government public service, we did not consciously follow a methodology based upon community development and capacity building. However, as the following outline reveals, our processes encompassed the five elements of capacity building that we subsequently realised that Garlick had earlier identified: knowledge building; leadership; network building; valuing community and their capacity to work together to achieve their own objectives; and supporting the capacity to collect, access and utilise quality information [ 5 ].
Our journey illustrates some practical examples of these elements. From —, a review of sexual health services within WA involving extensive statewide consultation with the Aboriginal community resulted in a document given the unlikely name of the Explicit Performance Standards EPS.
It identified Aboriginal sexual health as a high priority, providing a policy blueprint for actions to improve programs in delivery of sexual health services with a specific focus on Aboriginal people. The process of undertaking the review was costly both in terms of departmental resources and the non-remunerated inputs of time and energy of Aboriginal community members. Despite promises for increased resources for the 10 year strategy [ 7 ], sustained and substantial funds to action this blueprint did not eventuate, angering those who were aware of the costs of the consultation, and particularly the unfortunate consequences of broken promises.
Nevertheless, given the public declaration of the policy, it provided useful leverage for action. A key principle of public health is to reduce health inequalities. It was important to make Aboriginal STI control a core priority and a shared value in policy, purchasing, training activities and program delivery.
Similarly, we required outputs and reporting from public sector area health services in performance contracting and monitoring. This could be considered equating to Garlick's leadership criteria by providing an enabling environment for reorientation of services.
Some staff had worked with, and built relationships with, Aboriginal people over a long period of time. It was accepted that improvements required long-term commitment and building capacity in the sector — both for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal workers. The team worked with the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing to fund specific Aboriginal programs within some non-government organisations.
As a result of sustained efforts, we eventually received in one-off additional funding to help support implementation of EPS, making possible the funding of innovative programs with dedicated positions to address Aboriginal sexual health. Organisations were encouraged to adopt a comprehensive approach to STI control and the eight-way strategy originally advocated in Australia by Nganampa Health Services was promoted to those delivering sexual health services in Aboriginal communities [ 8 ].
This reminded those involved in STI control that it was not enough to focus on delivery of clinical services, or training or health promotion, or even all three. Although these three things were vital, other essential components were surveillance of disease and for risk behaviours, planning and management, evaluation and research, and ready access to the technical means to reduce transmission for example, condoms, needles and syringes and sterile equipment for ceremonial purposes.
Committees are inevitable in the administration of complex human services, but they can consume time without effectively achieving outcomes. Members initially appointed to represent an organisation but who rarely attended were gradually replaced by those with a passion to make a difference in this area.
Corresponding with this was an increase in attendance by Aboriginal members and greater stability and continuity of membership. This was helped by the Committee being not just a forum for discussion but also having decision-making power given its role in allocating the WA funding available under the National Indigenous Australians' Sexual Health Strategy.
Advocacy and leadership were also demonstrated by another mainstream WA sexual health advisory committee, with an active chairperson willing to personally ensure that Aboriginal sexual health issues were brought to the attention of the Director General of Health. It helped create a space in which debate about approaches within Aboriginal health in WA was legitimized, and for concern to lead to action.
A student was able to work with stakeholders external to the Department in a way that was not as constrained as that of employees within the public service. Moreover, the importance of an Aboriginal person being an authoritative source of information about STIs within the Indigenous community cannot be overestimated. With information solidly grounded in data, an Aboriginal advocate was able to convey concern, outrage, and the need for united action to Aboriginal colleagues and key non-Aboriginal bureaucrats and politicians.
These new voices joined those of non-Aboriginal others who had been vigorously arguing for more commitment and resources from government to ensure that the EPS recommendations could be implemented.
The benefits that derived from an Aboriginal person working within the sexual health program area in the Department of Health were readily apparent and the program staff learnt much from his perspective and those of other Aboriginal people enlisted by him for support.
Ultimately, the momentum generated helped achieve approval of the creation of two dedicated Aboriginal sexual health positions within the SHBBVP. Early in the process of raising interest, we were told by some public servants that the high rates of infection in Aboriginal communities were a matter of shame, that people did not want to know and that making available epidemiological information on infection rates by Aboriginality risked further stigmatising Aboriginal people.
However, early workshops and meetings we had with Aboriginal people suggested otherwise. Unanticipated media publicity increased the level of interest. For example, a report on a meeting to plan training for health care providers in Aboriginal communities to deal with disclosures of child sexual abuse was quoted in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation Four Corners report and the report linked on their website [ 9 , 10 ]. Information on rates of STIs in Aboriginal people and minors was then subpoenaed for a coronial inquest into the death of a 15 year old Aboriginal girl who had made allegations of physical and sexual abuse prior to being found hanging in a disused toilet block [ 11 , 12 ].
The Coroner's findings were the catalyst for the Premier of Western Australia to commit the government to a three-member inquiry into child abuse and family violence in Aboriginal communities.
All of this increased awareness among Aboriginal people that the Aboriginal community had much higher rates of sexually transmitted infections. As these conversations occurred, the response from Aboriginal people was typically expressed as: "Why hasn't anyone told us this before? This shifted the debate from concerns with shame — and yet another depressing Aboriginal health statistic — to indignation.
Importantly, the issue had been re-framed in terms of a human rights agenda. High rates of STIs are a consequence of many things, but the substantially higher rates in remote areas almost certainly reflected poorer access to appropriate services. Moreover, with a spike in Aboriginal HIV infections and an outbreak of syphilis in one WA health region that continued for over 12 months [ 14 ], there was good reason for concern to mount.
Information initially developed for PowerPoint presentations was printed in colour on A4 sheets and laminated. These 'placemats' included both graphs showing rates and relative rates of disease in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and key messages. They provided a format that was easy to read, readily transportable, easily usable and less readily disposed of. This was a particularly successful method of engaging with senior bureaucrats, health professionals and Aboriginal leaders and communities.
In addition to disseminating information from existing data collections, where there were gaps in our understanding, we sought to ensure that additional knowledge was created and made available. In addition to the needs assessments previously mentioned, we recognised limitations in our knowledge around injecting drug use in Aboriginal people in Western Australia and the experiences and needs of Aboriginal people with HIV.
A research project to examine the harm reduction needs of Aboriginal people who inject drugs was tendered out and a detailed examination of the issue provided data and recommendations to support further efforts at harm reduction to government and Aboriginal organisations and leaders [ 15 ]. We advocated for and were involved in research to learn more about Aboriginal people living with HIV in Western Australia. To ensure proper processes of engagement, and given the sensitivity of HIV within the Aboriginal community, the research was supported by a Project Reference Group and a Steering Committee.
Through the involvement of five Aboriginal members drawn from health and research backgrounds and representatives from the HIV positive Aboriginal community, the research brought many stakeholders together to exchange views and enabled the voices of Aboriginal people with HIV to inform policy and services [ 16 ]. The report highlighted the importance of dealing with substance use, housing, and transport so that Aboriginal people could engage with their health issues.
Systematically collected information added weight to existing concerns about the need for more responsive services and led to changes in the model for service delivery in Perth. The EPS review had identified the need for workforce development, especially targeting undergraduate medical students, remote area nurses and Aboriginal Health Workers.
Training needs analyses were undertaken to identify specific areas for professional development and in response there were successful efforts to increase the emphasis on sexual health and on Aboriginal health in the curriculum of relevant training programs. In an effort to develop special expertise in the Aboriginal workforce, emphasis was put on building knowledge and capacity, and the approach adopted was to have Aboriginal staff working side-by-side with experienced sexual health practitioners.
This was most readily achieved within well-managed organisations committed to supporting individuals and to improving Aboriginal health. It enabled mutual sharing of knowledge and fostered the development of understanding and respect. An example of this was the development of a very successful training program developed in FPWA formerly Family Planning WA , that provided Indigenous Trainees one or two years of apprenticeship style training. Establishment of Aboriginal positions in other organisations such the WA AIDS Council, the Hepatitis Council and Aboriginal trainee positions in the drug and alcohol sector assisted building a critical mass of Aboriginal workers networking in sexual health.
Building working partnerships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal professionals provided mutual benefits and built better cross-cultural understanding. Provided with encouragement, organisations developed creative ideas into novel programs and sought additional funding through competitive processes. For example, FPWA developed an innovative education program which enabled sexual health education to be delivered in remote communities by peer educators.
Using a train-the-trainer approach, the program targeted community workers in sectors such as justice, education, youth and community development, in addition to health. Moving outside the health sector underscored the contribution that multiple sectors with an interest in Aboriginal issues could have in addressing Aboriginal sexual health, improved partnership between sectors, enhanced skills in the Indigenous community workforce, and increased the number of Aboriginal people advocating for improvements to Indigenous sexual health.
Health operates in a political landscape and while strategic approaches are essential, it is important to make the most of opportunities that may not have been anticipated. A new Australian government initiative, the Donovanosis Eradication Strategy [ 17 ], led to the appointment of a Donovanosis Project Officer who maintained interest in clinical services and health promotion in Aboriginal sexual health.
She supported and up-skilled remote practitioners, traveling extensively to provide on-site training and practical support for system improvements. Close contact with practitioners enabled her to gather intelligence about common issues and local problems that could be fed back into planning, funding and support. A refractory outbreak of syphilis in a regional area increased the number of people actively lobbying senior bureaucrats in the WA Department of Health and the WA Minister of Health for the additional resources needed for more effective action.
As discussed earlier circumstances which led to a government inquiry into the response of government agencies to sexual abuse and family violence in Aboriginal communities [ 18 ] received considerable media attention, providing another opportunity to highlight the disproportionate rates of STIs in Aboriginal people, particularly in young adolescents. For many years, in the course of their professional work the authors had often encountered comments about the dearth of appropriate resources for promoting sexual health in Aboriginal communities in WA.
The absence of appropriate materials appeared to underpin a reticence to engage in sexual health education and promotion of sexual health messages in the community. The group collectively set goals for resource production and maintained momentum and enthusiasm. The process of meeting regularly with a common purpose to develop the resources brochures and flip charts for use with males and with females was important. A range of new resources was ultimately printed and widely distributed by the WA Department of Health, further helping health workers to engage with and undertake education within Aboriginal communities.
Health professionals working in remote and rural areas often feel a sense of isolation exacerbated by the need for strict medical confidentiality in small country towns. In addition to sharing ideas and building skills within organisations, it was clear that we also needed accelerate knowledge building and networking between organisations [ 5 ]. Following a tender process, FPWA was funded to support the development of a statewide sexual health network maintained through regular e-mail and teleconferences and an annual face-to-face Forum.
This provided professional development opportunities and enhanced learning through sharing problems and stories of success. For many Aboriginal health workers and rural and remote non-Indigenous workers, opportunities to talk about their work in sexual health had been limited.
Each annual Forum was attended by health professionals within the many disciplines that contribute to public health, and provided opportunities for professional development, validation of the importance of their role, peer-support, and the chance to share their ideas and learn about initiatives elsewhere. As the momentum increased, Aboriginal people assumed greater responsibility for planning and delivering the Forum program.
In addition to the Forum and network, special training workshops directed at providers delivering services in Aboriginal communities were held on specific issues such as managing HIV, hepatitis C, and dealing with child sexual abuse. The opportunity for various workers and agency representatives to meet regularly both face-to-face and by teleconference helped build relationships across all areas of the sector.
Promoting Indigenous sexual health in State and National research projects provided further data and information, and generated more interest and momentum beyond the sexual health sector. There were now a number of organisations and individuals who were actively taking opportunities in their professional and personal lives to advocate and lobby for more resources and effort to address the longstanding high rates of STIs in Aboriginal people in WA through better education and services.
Instead of limiting our efforts to assorted specialties within Health, areas of common concern were highlighted outside of the health arena, including with Indigenous Affairs, and the youth and welfare sectors. This cross-governmental, inter-agency collaboration contributed substantially to a more focused and strategic effort.
An ad hoc multisectoral, non-departmental working group of interested Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal public servants, academics and service providers began a concerted push for additional resources and commitment. The group called on the Minister for Health to attend a Summit on Aboriginal Sexual Health and to respond to resolutions from the event.
Efforts over four years to gain political attention and build capacity which incorporated all the elements of Garlick's framework [ 5 ] culminated in a Summit entitled Moving Beyond Shame: Information, Partnership and Action on STIs. The Summit brought together Aboriginal people from across the state to highlight concerns and create an agenda for action. The Summit successfully gained political attention and the commitment of additional resources to address sexual health in rural and remote areas.
The placement in three remote regions of teams of three working in both public sector community health services and Aboriginal community-controlled health services has continued to build capacity, communication and partnerships within and across regions with high rates of Aboriginal STIs. The first Western Australian Aboriginal Sexual Health Strategy was developed in , outlining a comprehensive approach to primary health care and population health to improve sexual health indicators for Aboriginal people living in WA [ 19 ].