This article was written by Urbis consultant Joanna Farmer.
Closing the gap in sexual and reproductive health is vital, given that the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among Aboriginal people remains higher than the non-Aboriginal population, and rates of teenage pregnancy are significantly higher too.
The Cairns Sexual Health Service (the Service) provides culturally appropriate health promotion and clinical services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Cairns and across Far North Queensland.
Recently, the Service asked Urbis to prepare a case study of the work it is doing to improve the sexual and reproductive health of young Aboriginal people. The data shows that over the past five years, the Service has contributed to improved outcomes for young Aboriginal people including a reduced rate of sexually transmitted infection and teenage pregnancy.
Visiting Cairns provided the Urbis team with a richer story, understanding the extent to which the Service has helped young people to achieve greater knowledge and control over their own health.