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7 May 2014

Mary G talks about sex to Aboriginal youth in WA

Aboriginal young people in Western Australia are the target of a new WA Health sexual health campaign.

The campaign features popular Aboriginal comedian Mary G, and will run on radio stations across Western Australia as well as targeted Facebook advertising.

Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), particularly chlamydia and gonorrhoea, remain high among Aboriginal young people, especially in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields area—where notifications of chlamydia and gonorrhoea are higher than anywhere else in WA

WA Health sexual health and blood-borne virus program director, Lisa Bastian said 11,804 Western Australians tested positive for chlamydia last year with nearly 14 per cent of those being Aboriginal and in the 16–24 year old age group.

"As well as chlamydia, gonorrhoea remains a significant issue for young Aboriginal people," Ms Bastian said.

"From June 2012 to June 2013, 54 per cent of gonorrhoea infections were in the 15–24 year old age group and 54 per cent of the infections reported were in Aboriginal people.

"It's important we continue to develop innovative ways to reach young Aboriginal people to educate them about the importance of safe sex.

"Ms Bastian said Mary G was an established Aboriginal comedian, whose messages have a proven record of reaching all levels of the Aboriginal community.

"Sexual health can be tricky to talk about and research shows that humour is a great way to cut through the embarrassment and shame that people can feel when talking about these sensitive topics," she said.

"The Mary G campaign messages to young people are simple—use a condom when you're having sex and if you've had unprotected sex, get tested."

Media contact: (08) 9222 4333

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