Many STIs are asymptomatic and there are many difficulties associated with partner notification. High rates of STI infection are caused by factors such as: health services being accessed less often by younger people than older people; lower health literacy among this population; and residency in hyper-endemic STI communities.

To address this disparity in health outcomes among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the implementation of routine, systematic, annual bacterial STI tests of people aged 15 to 30 years is supported. Routine STI and BBV screening and vaccination for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) where indicated should also be conducted in prison and juvenile detention centres. Furthermore, where local epidemiology suggests high community prevalence, the program response should be flexible and the frequency of testing and the age group should be extended.

In addition, specific strategies are required to increase access to STI testing at least annually for those aged 15 to 19 years who are sexually active and have high rates of STI infection. While it is acknowledged that STI testing is only one aspect of the comprehensive program required to reduce STI prevalence rates at population level, regular opportunistic and systematic testing of this younger age group annually is good public health practice. It is the main path towards appropriate treatment and prevention of complications as well as an important long-term preventive strategy.