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Sexual Health Competency Standards for Primary Health Care Nurses
General practice is the main provider of sexual health care in NSW. Fifty-five percent of Australians diagnosed with a sexually transmissible infection (STI) or blood borne virus (BBV) access treatment through general practice while eight percent access treatment through publicly funded sexual health services. The presence of symptoms is one of the main reasons people seek sexual health services. However, the asymptomatic nature of most STIs means that most people are not likely to be tested nor seek testing.
To address this, opportunistic STI screening should be a routine part of any medical consultation in general practice. The NSW Sexually Transmissible Infections Programs Unit (NSW STIPU), in partnership with the Australian Practice Nurses Association (APNA), the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM), Family Planning NSW and the Australasian Sexual Health and HIV Nurses Association (ASHHNA) surveyed primary healthcare nurses on experiences with sexual health care in general practice. These survey responses indicated a high level of interest in sexual health and highlighted the value of developing sexual health competency standards for primary care nurses.
Presented by Carolyn Murray, NSW STIPU