New sexual health campaign to combat rising rates of STIs

A ground-breaking new awareness campaign is encouraging young people to take action to prevent sexually transmissible infections (STI) by testing regularly and practising safe sex.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

Media event date:
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General public

A ground-breaking new awareness campaign is encouraging young people to take action to prevent sexually transmissible infections (STI) by testing regularly and practising safe sex.
 
1 in 6 Australians will get an STI in their lifetime.
 
The campaign, called ‘Beforeplay’, launches today in response to the rising prevalence of preventable STI like syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia.
 
Cases of infectious syphilis in Australia more than doubled between 2015 and 2020, with more than 6,000 cases in the last 12 months.
 
Syphilis may not show symptoms but can have serious health implications if not detected and treated, particularly for pregnant women and their babies.
 
Beforeplay’ reminds young people aged 20 to 34 – the age range where most STI notifications occur – that regular check-ups are a key part of sexual health and safe sex behaviours.
 
Most STI are treatable, but early detection is essential. Regular testing is the only way to check if you have an STI, as you could have an STI and not know it.
 
Tests can often be as simple as a urine or blood test and can be done at your GP, local sexual health clinic, or community health centre.
 
The national campaign begins on Sunday 14 January 2024 and will run for nine weeks, appearing on social media and online, on dating apps like Tinder and Grindr, and around universities, bars and clubs. Materials will also be adapted and translated for multicultural and First Nations audiences.
 
For more information visit: www.health.gov.au/STI
 
High resolution broadcast video and print-ready images can be downloaded here.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“The 'Beforeplay' campaign is a timely reminder of the simple steps everyone should follow to stay in control of their sexual health and prevent STI transmission.
 
“1 in 6 Australians will get an STI and the rates of infection are rising, particularly among young people aged 20 to 34.
 
“It’s been almost 15 years since the last major STI awareness campaign from the Australian Government. This is an important health issue, not a taboo topic. The 'Beforeplay' campaign will help reduce the stigma around STI testing and prevention.”
 

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