First national study on STIs in Indigenous identifies concerns

Lead researcher Associate Professor James Ward of Baker IDI in Alice Springs said the GOANNA Project had established there were “very good” levels of knowledge about sexual health among the study population of nearly 3000 young Indigenous people. 

“But there are also areas we can target, such as chlamydia, the most notified condition in Australia,” he said. 

“Our young people did poorly in answering questions about chlamydia, whether it was easily treatable and whether it caused complications in having babies.” 

Knowledge was also weak about sexual infection routes for hepatitis B, he said.

The Goanna project was initiated in 2010 because of higher rates of STI and BBV infection in Indigenous communities compared with non-Indigenous Australians. 

The final report, released this week, draws on responses from 2877 participants aged 16–29 contacted at community and