26 September 2023

Health to tackle intimate infections

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The Department of Health is to tackle the rates of blood-borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections in Victoria with a new strategy.

Welcoming Health’s Victorian Sexual and Reproductive Health and Viral Hepatitis Strategy 2022-30, the Minister for Health, Mary-Anne Thomas said the Strategy set the direction for sexual and reproductive health and viral hepatitis prevention, screening and testing, treatment and care.

“This is the first time that reproductive health, sexual health and viral hepatitis have come together under the same framework,” Ms Thomas said.

“Made up of seven plans, the Strategy is tailored to specific epidemics, conditions and cohorts,” she said.

“It provides the key actions required to guide each response across HIV, sexually transmissible infections, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and women’s sexual and reproductive health.”

Ms Thomas said the first-ever Victorian Aboriginal Sexual and Reproductive Health Plan 2022-30 was also included in the Strategy.

She said the new Strategy set bold targets for Victorians’ sexual and reproductive health, including eliminating congenital syphilis by 2030; eliminating hepatitis B and hepatitis C as public health concerns by 2030; and the virtual elimination of new HIV transmissions by 2025.

“This Strategy sets ambitious but achievable targets for Victorians’ sexual and reproductive health – and will help guide decision-making when it comes to this important part of everyone’s health,” the Minister said.

“This is about ensuring people have the care they require and reduce the stigma and discrimination that can be associated with sexual and reproductive health and viral hepatitis.”

Health’s seven-part Strategy can be accessed at this PS News link.

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