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|Title:||Sexual health for New South Wales Aboriginal people: A literature review|
Indigenous Heath Studies
sexually transmitted infections
primary health care
|Abstract:||During the past 16 years I have worked in the area of needle and syringe programs 'harm minimisation' and sexual health strategies, targeting different populations of injecting drug users in the Canterbury and Redfern area. My expertise in the field was delivering safe sex education and safe using practices to people who were at risk of HIV or sexually transmitted infections due to their using or sexual choices. Because of the nature of their using, it was not appropriate to provide extensive safe sex and safe using education, as contact with clients was usually less than 5 minutes. In this situation, each worker had to develop short and precise safe sex messages to this population while they were virtually walking out the door. Sexual health for me is such an important part of peoples' lives no matter who they are or what they do, but, there is also a down side in this area of health as many individuals have, in the past experienced many barriers and stigmatization that has influenced them in accessing sexual health services. These barriers and stigmatization from health professionals include inappropriate comments and cultural ignorance towards Aboriginal people. During the first year of my employment as a sexual health worker, women from the local communities contacted me to discuss their concerns about the limited education that families have on sexual health. The women expressed the need and importance of having Aboriginal men and women's sexual health clinics in the area that would provide clinical, education and support to community, as there was a growing concern of young girls falling pregnant and dropping out of school. In addition, the women spoke about their past (usually, not very good) experiences in attending health clinics, and identified what they saw as the main barriers which disabled them from attending sexual health clinics. These were: lack of transport to Sexual Health Services; little cultural acceptance of Sexual Health Services; Aboriginal Workers in the service; lack of availability of culturally appropriate resources, such as men and women's business being separated; and the community's lack of awareness of sexually transmitted infections. Three important themes emerged from these talks: the need for indigenous Sexual Health clinics, male and female, in a Primary Health setting that take into account the diversity of Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander's culture and protocols; the need for an increase of Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Health Workers in Primary Health Care settings; and Holistic Health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Central Sydney Area Sexual Health Service has now taken positive steps towards establishing culturally effective and efficient sexual health clinics for Aboriginal men and women. Funding has been approved and these clinics will commence in 2004. Thus, the choice of this topic for my literature review is a timely one. Undertaking this literature review will provide information that identifies the scope of Aboriginal sexual health issues and, in a broader sense, identifies those issues of main concern - all of which may help inform the establishment of culturally appropriate sexual health programs/projects in CSAHS. Identifying key concerns and recommendations that relate to Aboriginal sexual health will provide an appropriate framework for the formulation of a set of principles that may guide the sexual health planning, development and implementation of sexual health projects/programs in the Central Sydney Area Health Service. in addition, Central Sydney Sexual Health Services in partnership with the Aboriginal Health Service, Redfern are currently developing an Aboriginal Sexual Health Strategy for future men and women's sexual health clinics in this area. In summary, this chapter provides an overview of the future direction of the Central Sydney Area Sexual Health Services and how the findings of this thesis will help to provide a more supportive pathway to the establishing of Aboriginal men and women's sexual health clinics in the local communities.|
|Description:||Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this material may contain references to or images of people who have died.|
|Department/Unit/Centre:||Indigenous Heath Studies|
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this work.|
|Type of Work:||Thesis, Honours|
|Appears in Collections:||Indigenous Health Theses (Open Access Collection)|
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|HAINING_A_2004_SEXUAL.pdf||5.9 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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