With the party season now in full swing, NSW Health’s sexually transmitted infection (STI) experts are reminding teenagers heading off to schoolies to stay safe.
According to the NSW STI Data Report 2017, chlamydia remains the most common STI among young people, with over 29,000 cases detected last year – the majority among 15-30 year olds.
“More STI cases are being detected because of increased and better targeted testing,” said Dr Chris Bourne, Head of NSW STI Programs Unit at the Centre for Population Health.
“Condoms are the best protection against STIs, and if you have unprotected sex, see your doctor for testing. STIs often have no symptoms, so don’t delay,” he said.
“While schoolies should be a fun time after the stresses of exams, look after yourself and your mates.”
A useful NSW Health resource for parents and teenagers heading off to schoolies is the NSW Sexually Transmitted Infections Programs Unit’s updated NSW Play Safe website: https://playsafe.health.nsw.gov.au.
The website is specifically targeted at young people aged 16-29 years and provides STI prevention, testing and management help.
For teenagers heading to music festivals, there is free, confidential chlamydia testing at NSW Health’s VIP tents with a simple urine test.
Free condoms are also available. For information about STI testing and support, call the NSW Sexual Health Info link on 1800 451 624.
In 2018-19, NSW Health is investing $21.9 million in services to strengthen HIV and STI testing, treatment and prevention, including $1,527,000 in programs to engage young people aged 16-29 years in good sexual health practices.