Young people

Overview

  • Rates of chlamydia and gonorrhoea diagnoses in Australia are highest among people aged 15-24 years.
  • Most young people attend a general practice at least once a year, and are often unaware of their risk of infection and that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are often asymptomatic. The 9th edition of the RACGP Guidelines for Preventive Activities in General Practice recommends opportunistic testing for chlamydia infection in all sexually active people aged 15-29 years. Currently, chlamydia is detected in approximately 1 in 20 young Australians who have screening tests in general practice.
  • Negotiating to see all young people alone, discussing confidentiality, minimising costs and routinely offering STI screening (using self-collected samples, when appropriate) to all young people can help overcome barriers to STI testing. Useful resources on how to bring up sexual health and related issues can be found here.
  • Providing care to adolescents, particularly younger adolescents, may involve a complete psychosocial HEADSS Assessment and an assessment of the young person’s capacity for decision making and consent while being aware of child protection issues and mandatory reporting requirements.