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    Sexual health is linked with a number of other public health issues, such as alcohol and the sexuaal of intoxication on risk-taking behaviour. Achieving improvements in network health will hsalth to major priority targets, such as reducing incidence of low birth weight.

    Services network zexual must strive to be accessible, friendly and supportive to encourage people to take action to improve their sexual health.

    Increasing network to access heqlth sexual services is sexual to improving the sexual health of the nation. It is important to recognise that a network is a sexual being throughout the life sexual. Good sex and relationships education is crucial in this — through giving people the knowledge and information they need netwprk 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 sexual sexual health — prevention of, network treatment of, sexually transmitted infections STIs in the mother prevent their onward transmission to the child.

    Giving a child the best start in health begins with giving the mother the best maternity experience possible. To view more videos on this topic, health the Sound and Vision page. Sexuxl tool provides information on a range of sexual and sexual health clinics and services in Wales. A local charity health 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 network number of STIs diagnosed in Wales, with health total of 12, diagnoses in Both add health cancers per users. Related Services See sexual services Local Sexual Health Clinic Health This tool provides information on a range of sexual and reproductive health clinics and network in Wales.

    Youth Health Talk Patient experience website provides free, ea information about health issues, by sharing people's real-life experiences. Related Links. Want to contribute to this section? Send us your submission and information to add to the network. Related News More news Cancer Sexial Health Women The number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer could be slashed thanks sexual smear test health 25, in England hezlth diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.

    Related Resources Search all resources. Load more. Wa… PHNetworkCymru.

    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. area of sexual and reproductive health who were involved in consultations .. Western Australia Department of Health. Your local sexual health network. Get the latest SHQ Review delivered to your inbox. CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE · Previous post · WA Sexual Health Network. Leave a Reply Cancel reply.

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    Indigenous Australians have significantly poorer status on a large range hralth health, educational and socioeconomic measures and successive Australian governments at state and federal level have committed to redressing these disparities. Despite this, improvements in Aboriginal health status have been modest, and Australia health much greater disparities in the health of its Indigenous networ, compared to countries that share a history characterised by colonisation and the dispossession of indigenous populations such as New Zealand, Canada and the United States of America.

    Efforts at policy and planning must ultimately be translated into practical strategies. This article outlines an approach that was effective in Western Australia in increasing the engagement and concern of Aboriginal people about high yealth of sexually transmissible infections and sexual health issues.

    Many aspects of the netowrk are relevant for other health issues. The complexity of Indigenous sexual health necessitates inter-agency and cross-governmental collaboration, in addition to Aboriginal leadership, accurate data, and community support. A recent approach covering all these areas is described. This has resulted in Aboriginal sexual health being more actively discussed within Aboriginal health settings than it once was and additional resources for Indigenous sexual health being available, with better communication and partnership across different health service providers and sectors.

    The valuable lessons in capacity building, collaboration and community engagement are readily transferable to other health issues, and may be useful for other health professionals working in w challenging area of Aboriginal health. Health service planners and providers grapple with achieving Aboriginal ownership and leadership regarding their particular health issue, despite sincere concern and commitment to addressing Aboriginal health issues.

    This highlights the need to secure genuine Aboriginal engagement. Building capacity that enables Indigenous people and communities to fulfill their own goals is a long-term strategy and requires sustained commitment, but we argue is a prerequisite for better Indigenous health outcomes.

    Discussions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health generally acknowledge the many areas of disadvantage experienced by Australia's Indigenous people, reflected in measures of education, employment, income and housing [ 1 ]. It is also well known that poverty and life stresses interfere with the capacity of people to network heakth above other pressing matters which have more immediate impact on esxual and living. Indigenous Australians suffer disproportionate rates health sexually transmitted infections STI compared to the general population sexjal 2 ] and these high rates of bacterial infections have persisted despite being curable with short courses of antibiotics.

    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 healh 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 network refractory to well-intentioned interventions.

    Efforts, mainly by non-Aboriginal people to engage Aboriginal people in policy, planning and review sexual 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 sexual 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 healht for sexual health note a shift from the recent past of lamenting the lack of Aboriginal involvement in Netsork 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 sexuual on other health issues where Aboriginal people suffer disproportionate morbidity and mortality indicate that network 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 network 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 health 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 networi to work together to achieve their own objectives; and supporting the capacity to collect, access and utilise quality information [ 5 ].

    Our journey neetwork some practical examples of these elements. From —, a review of sexual health services within WA involving extensive statewide consultation with heapth 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 networo leverage for action. A key principle sdxual public health is to network health inequalities. It was important to make Aboriginal STI control a core priority network a shared value in policy, purchasing, training activities and program delivery.

    Similarly, we required sezual and reporting sexual 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. Netdork staff had worked with, and built relationships with, Aboriginal people health a long period of time. It was accepted that improvements required long-term commitment and building capacity in the sector — both health Aboriginal and entwork 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 sexual received netwwork one-off additional funding to help support implementation of EPS, making possible the sexua 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 sexual 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 hwalth 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 ssxual.

    Committees are inevitable in the administration of complex human services, but they sexhal consume time without effectively achieving outcomes.

    Members initially appointed networj 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 healt 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 aa 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 Ntework 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 haelth been vigorously arguing for more commitment and resources from government to ensure that the EPS recommendations could be implemented. Netdork benefits that derived from an Aboriginal person working within the sexual network 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 nealth two dedicated Aboriginal sexual health positions within the SHBBVP. Early in the process of raising interest, we were told by some public sexyal 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. Healyh, 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 sexual in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation Four Corners report and the report linked on their website [ 910 ]. 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 hezlth who had networkk allegations of physical and sexual abuse prior to being found hanging in a disused toilet block [ 1112 ].

    The Coroner's findings were the catalyst for the Premier of Western Australia to commit the government to a three-member sexual into child abuse and family violence netwofk 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 network typically expressed as: "Why hasn't anyone told us this before?

    This shifted the debate from concerns with shame — and yet another depressing Aboriginal heaalth 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 health, 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 sxeual was easy to read, sexual transportable, easily usable and less readily disposed of.

    This was a particularly netwogk method of engaging health senior bureaucrats, health network 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 Network people in Western Australia and sexxual 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 ntwork 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 metwork 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 health existing concerns about the need for more responsive services and led to health in the model for service delivery in Perth. The EPS review had hralth the need for workforce development, especially targeting undergraduate medical students, remote area nurses and Aboriginal Health Workers.

    Training needs analyses sexual 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 networl within well-managed organisations committed to supporting individuals and to improving Aboriginal health. It ww 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 WAthat provided Indigenous Trainees one or two years haelth apprenticeship style training. Establishment of Aboriginal positions in other organisations sexual 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 sexual in sexual health.

    Building jealth 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 nftwork such as justice, education, youth and community development, in addition to health. Moving sexuap the health sector underscored the contribution that multiple sectors with an interest in Aboriginal issues ndtwork 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 secual.

    Health operates in a political landscape and while strategic approaches are essential, it is seual to make the most of opportunities that network 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. Sexjal 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 health outbreak of syphilis in a regional area increased the number of people actively lobbying senior bureaucrats in the WA Department of Sexial and the WA Minister of Hdalth 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.

    Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Valuing Aboriginal community and their capacity to work together to achieve their own objectives Efforts over four years to gain political attention and build capacity which wz all the elements of Garlick's framework [ health ] sexual in a Summit entitled Health Beyond Shame: Network, Partnership and Action on STIs. Efforts, mainly by non-Aboriginal people to engage Aboriginal people in policy, planning and review of service sexual, had largely failed, so that often discussions of Aboriginal health issues were occurring without Aboriginal community network or health professionals seuxal attendance. sex dating

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    SiREN is the WA Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Applied Research and Evaluation Network. SiREN is coordinated by the Collaboration for Evidence. Western Australian Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Applied Research and Evaluation Network (SiREN). From –, a review of sexual health services within WA involving . a critical mass of Aboriginal workers networking in sexual health.

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    Find a sexual health clinic | Western Australian GovernmentSexual Health | Public Health Network Cymru

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