Knowledge for Sexual and Reproductive Freedom. Safe Sex. Contraception. Consent. Screening. Prevention. Conversations. Sexual Health Literacy. Reproductive Health Literacy.
Are You Covered (AYC) is Gippsland Women’s Health’s regional approach to Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). AYC was created in 2015 focusing on condoms and consent with tailored resources and condom vending machines installed in public toilets across Gippsland. The AYC brand has since involved into all our SRH strategy work, focusing on all aspects of SRH to improve knowledge and health literacy amongst the Gippsland community. Our main aim is to empower the consumer so they have the knowledge and tools to successfully navigate their SRH needs.
In an ideal world, Gippsland would have world class access and choice to SRH education and health care services, however this very far from the case. There are multiple barriers to SRH care and information that are amplified by living in rural and remote areas. These include extended wait times to make a GP appointment, lack of services available especially those that bulk-bill or specialise in SRH, longer travel times for appointments and high cost of contraception.
We continue to work with partner organisations and services to improve the delivery of SRH across Gippsland.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIs)
- Chlamydia is the most common STI in Gippsland
- Higher rates of Chlamydia in Baw Baw with 28.1 notifications per 10,000 females (Vic 18.5) and 17.3 notifications per 10,000 males (Vic 16.8)
- People aged 15 to 29 years account for around 80% of notifications
- Modelling suggests that 77% of chlamydia cases remain undiagnosed
- Asymptomatic infection results in untreated disease, ongoing transmission and increased risk of complications
- Gonorrhea notifications are increasing in Gippsland
- Syphilis notifications are increasing in women as well as in men who have sex with men
- Rates of STIs among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria are around twice as high compared to non-Aboriginal people
- People in rural and remote areas have lower STI testing rates and experience poorer health outcomes
PREGNANCY AND BIRTH IN GIPPSLAND
- 16.7% of women smoke during pregnancy (first 20 weeks) (compared to 9.1% in Australia) – highest in Latrobe at 23.4%
- 30% more live births by mothers aged 15-19 years per population in Gippsland compared to Australia – twice as many in Latrobe
- 6.3% low birth weight babies
- 51.3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Gippsland smoke during pregnancy – this is the highest rate of any PHN in Australia (43.4%)
- 15.4% of Aboriginal babies in Gippsland were low birth weight – this is the highest rate of any PHN in Australia (11.2 %)
- In Australia it is estimated that half of all pregnancies are unplanned and half of those will be terminated
- Between one quarter and one third of Australian women will experience abortion in their lifetime
- In Gippsland 5 out of 6 LGAs had above state LGA average demand of Medication Abortion by patients location Rate (per 1,000) However only 1 out of the 6 LGAs in Gippsland had above the state LGA average of Medication Abortion prescribers location Rate (per 1,000). This means that the majority of women who have accessed a medication abortion have had to do so outside of their own LGA