Review of Investment in Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Activity – Final Report
3.4 The Torres Strait Sexual Health Strategy
OATSIH has allocated $1.26 million over 5 years (2007-2012) to develop and implement a Torres Strait Sexual Health Strategy in partnership with Queensland Health, to address the high rate of STIs in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area (T&NPA) and to prevent an outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the region. The Strategy is jointly funded by Queensland Health and by the Department of Health and Ageing through OATSIH. OATSIH funding provides for a clinical nurse consultant position, based on Thursday Island, a health promotion position in Cape York, and a coordinator position, as well as evaluation funding which supports the development and implementation of a knowledge, practice and attitudes survey.
The aims of the strategy are to:
- raise community awareness, knowledge and understanding of sexual health issues in the Torres
- Strait (measured through a knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and practices survey of young people, delivered at the beginning and the end of the five years)
- provide those at risk with the information, services and health hardware required to prevent and control STIs and HIV (assessed through annual surveys of service access)
- influence changes in the number of notifications of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and HIV (monitored through ongoing surveillance)
- establish a registered nurse and sexual health worker team and support staff to implement the strategy.(assessed through recruitment)
- involve a range of local stakeholders through the formation of sexual health reference group/s (measured by the establishment of such groups)
- prevent an outbreak of HIV in the Torres Strait (monitored through surveillance HIV testing).