Training aims to normalise STI tests
Aboriginal Health Workers around the State are being trained to carry out testing for sexually transmitted infections, in a bid to increase testing rates among Aboriginal people.
The Aboriginal Health Council of WA initially ran the pilot program The Birds and BBVs in Albany in May last year and, since then, 49 people have participated in the training. The twoday training course has been held in Broome, Kalgoorlie, Bunbury, Roebourne and Perth.
AHCWA chairwoman Michelle Nelson-Cox said rates of STIs and blood borne viruses were far higher among Aboriginal people.
“Aboriginal people are five times more likely to have chlamydia, 14 times more at risk of gonorrhea, six times more likely to contract syphilis and 10 times more at risk of Hepatitis C,” she said. “We’re seeking to normalise testing by making it a routine part of a visit to an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.”
Ms Nelson-Cox said she was hopeful the training would contribute to increasing the rate of STI testing among Aboriginal people.
AHCWA is working with Curtin University to evaluate the efficacy of the training program.
Recently trained Mawarnkarra Health Service workers Veronica Walshe, Cody Schlink, Adrianna Irvine-Stanes, Amorette Lockyer, Lorraine Taui and Estee Pinder.