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4 June 2014

WA Health campaign to stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections

WA Health has launched an online sexual health campaign to increase awareness of the ease of testing, treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The campaign aims to address the spread of STIs among young people in Western Australia.

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea remain the most commonly notified STIs in Western Australia, and the majority of infections are reported in young people.

WA Health sexual health and blood-borne virus program director, Lisa Bastian said last year 11,790 Western Australians tested positive for chlamydia, and 61 per cent of the notifications were among 15 to 24 year olds.

Ms Bastian says gonorrhoea is also prevalent in young people, with 52 per cent of gonorrhoea infections reported in 15–24 year olds last year.

"We'd like to see more young people getting tested and treated for STIs. Chlamydia and gonorrhoea often don't have any symptoms, but if not treated early, these infections can lead to serious health problems in both men and women, including infertility," she said.

Ms Bastian said the campaign would target websites, mobile apps, and social media tools frequently used by young people aged 16–24, and features a short video explaining how to get tested.

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

Further information about the campaign is available at the Could I Have It? website at www.couldihaveit.com.au

Media contact: (08) 9222 4333

Follow us on Twitter: @WAHealth

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