Sydney Conference to shine light on nation’s sexual habits and health
The Australasian Sexual Health Conference will bring together the nation's leading practitioners to discuss best practice in sexual health and wellbeing.
“Professionals in sexual health realise that to promote good sexual health we need a holistic understanding of people's sexual behaviour if we are going to make a meaningful impact on their health,” Dr Eva Jackson, one of the conveners of the 2014 Australasian Sexual Health Conference told SX.
For the second year running the Australasian Sexual Health Alliance (AHSA) has organised the Australasian Sexual Health Conference and this year’s event will focus on a number of key areas relating to sexual heath, everything from safe sex practices to the growing trend in sexting.
“This year we have Juliet Richters, Professor in Sexual Health, University of NSW giving us a sneak peek of the Sex in Australia 2 national telephone survey in both a plenary session and a paper session.” said Jackson.
“There is really good representation of papers from aboriginal communities this year. There will be up-to-date information on local trends in STIs and HIV diagnosis, treatment and health promotion that one would not normally be able to access easily. And this year we have a focus on how social media and the internet influence sexual behaviour and the way we promote and research in sexual health.”
As a multidisciplinary organisation, AHSA is committed to sharing ideas and research in order to promote good sexual health in Australia and the Asia Pacific.
“The themes this year are youth, education, the influence of social media and technology on sexual health. So we are highlighting the extensive use of social media and the internet with our youth and hopefully delegates will leave with a better idea of how to use these resources in their practice, whether it be in health promotion, education, basic science research or clinical work.”
With the Kirby Institute's recent Annual Surveillance Report highlighting a rise in STIs and HIV infections, the conference is also expected to play a big role in opening up discussions surrounding safe sex.
“This year the Conference title is Condoms and Beyond, Completing the Sexual Health Picture, “Jackson said. “So there will be a lot of talk about how we can support the condom message by giving young people the skills to negotiate respectful and safe (as in healthy, consensual) relationships.
“The report gives us a break down of STIs and HIVs in specific populations and this year we have papers that inform us on successful and not so successful projects to improve safe sex behaviour in these populations (men who have sex with men, aboriginal populations, injecting drug users and heterosexual populations). Delegates always go away excited to see how they can implement aspects of successful projects into their day to day work.”
The Australasian Sexual Health Conference 2014 takes place from October 9-11 at the Sydney Masonic Centre. More info: www.shconference.com.au