2012 will be a big year of promotion of sexual awareness for the Sexual Health Unit at the NPAFACS. With almost 3 in 5 people that have some form of STI in the NPA it is essential to get a handle on the situation. “The aim is to reduce STI’s in the community by increasing condom usage. It is important to educate the youth about STI’s.” Program Manager of the Sexual Health Unit, Suzi Wood said during an interview.Wood explains that, sexual education is not a priority in school curriculum in primary and secondary schools.
“Lack of sexual education means that youth thinks they are bullet proof and immune to STI’s until they see it or experience it for themselves.” Rochelle Wasiu, (community health educator) warns that, “all STI’s if untreated can be very detrimental to one’s health, Chlamydia can cause infertility, liver or kidney damage and syphilis can lead to heart problems and can affect the brain.” There is a myriad of health risks associated to untreated STI’s. This is why the NPAFACS launched sexual health awareness week during the week of February 13th where NPAFACS in its caravan drove to five different communities in the NPA, Inginoo, Umagico, New Mapoon, Seisia and Bamaga. Here youngsters were given information on STI’s. Youth were able to get tested by hospital staff on location and given information on where to get tested if they decided to do so afterwards.
“There is no shame in getting tested. It takes 1 minute for the test and 24 hours for the results,” Said Wood. Condoman as well showed his support for the event by handing out condoms on the Tuesday Feb 14th to celebrate International Condom Day. The NPAFACS is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of STI’s and is ramping up its program to meet more youth on this issue. It is important for the youth to not be shame…but be game. NPAFACS along with Condoman will be bringing this issue to the forefront over the next year in the NPA.