Third National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy: 2010–2013

1.3 Blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia

Page last updated: July 2010

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities continue to face significant public health issues and challenges around BBVs and STIs including:

  • sustained and unacceptably high rates of bacterial STIs
  • the rate of acquisition of HIV and viral hepatitis through injecting drug use
  • continued new HIV infections among men who have sex with men.
Exacerbating these challenges is that many communities lack access to culturally appropriate treatment, care and support through primary healthcare services. There are also significant gaps in the workforce to adequately dealwith this reality. This strategy has been developed based on the best available national and international evidence to address these issues. For the purposes of this strategy:
  • bacterial STIs refer to the infections of chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia), infectious syphilis and gonorrhoea
  • other STIs include trichomoniasis, HIV and hepatitis B
  • BBVs refer to HIV, hepatitis B and C
  • Hepatitis B and HIV are recognised as both STIs and BBVs.