The number of young people being infected with sexually transmitted diseases has more than doubled over the past eight years, prompting a new state Government-funded awareness campaign.
The rates of new syphilis and gonorrhoea infections in people aged 18-35 have nearly doubled over the past eight years. Chlamydia remains the worst offender, with numbers of new infections quadrupling.
“In part the increase is due to additional testing, however, it also indicates increased numbers of infections,” NSW’s chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said, announcing the launch of the Government’s Get Tested, Play Safe campaign, designed to encourage young people to have regular sexual health checks.
The campaign was developed with assistance from ACON and mainstream health organisations as well as input from young people.
“I strongly encourage young people to have regular testing for STIs to avoid unnecessary suffering and inconvenience,” the chair of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Dr Liz Marles, said.
The message is no different for gay men.
“STI transmisssion in the gay community is an important health issue. It’s essential gay men understand that the more partners they have, the more STI tests they should get,” ACON CEO Stevie Clayton said.
“We’ve worked closely with NSW Health on this campaign to ensure the messaging and imagery encourages sexually active gay men to look after themselves and our community by getting tested.”
info: For more information on the campaign visit www.gettested.com.au.