Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Use of health services for sexually transmitted and blood-borne viral infections by young Aboriginal people in New South Wales

James Ward A F , Joanne Bryant B , Heather Worth C , Peter Hull B , Sarina Solar D and Sandra Bailey E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, CFI Building, Corner West and Boundary Streets, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia.

B National Centre in HIV Social Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

C School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Level 2 and 3 Samuels Building, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

D Koori Centre, Old Teachers’ College (A22), Manning Road, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

E Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW, PO Box 1565, Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012, Australia.

F Corresponding author. Email: jward@kirby.unsw.edu.au

Australian Journal of Primary Health 19(1) 81-86 https://doi.org/10.1071/PY11032
Submitted: 13 March 2011  Accepted: 14 February 2012   Published: 3 April 2012

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to describe use of health services for sexually transmitted infections (STI), blood borne viral infections (BBV) and drug and alcohol issues by young Aboriginal people in New South Wales (NSW). A cross-sectional survey was conducted at two Aboriginal sports and cultural events in NSW, in 2007 and 2008, among Aboriginal people aged 16–30 years to ascertain their knowledge of STI, BBV, associated risk behaviours and health service access in NSW. A total of 293 young Aboriginal people completed the survey; 58% were female, the mean age was 20 years, and almost 70% were single. Just over one-third (34%) of participants had been tested for an STI in the past 12 months, and over half (58%) reported that they had ever had an STI test (including HIV). Of respondents who had had an STI test in the past 12 months, 54.0% had done so at an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) and 29% by a GP. Just over one-third (36%) of participants had ever had a test for hepatitis C, 45% of whom had received their test at an ACCHS. Participants were also asked about the types of services they had used for advice about STI and BBV. Of the 69% who had sought STI advice, ACCHS was the most common clinical location for doing so (36% for STI and 26% for hepatitis C). This study highlights the important role that ACCHS play in the provision of STI and BBV testing care and management for a cohort of young Aboriginal people in NSW.


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