GWAHS warns of STI outbreak

NSW Greater Western Area Health Service (GWAHS) is currently conducting a campaign in order to warn young people between the ages of 15 to 29 about a recent explosion in detection rates of Chlamydia in the Central West.

Statistics show that since 2000 there has been a 300% increase in the sexually transmitted infection.

Clinical Nurse Specialist at GWAHS, Helen Woods, said there were a number of myths surrounding the illness which was adding to the increasing detection rates.

“Common misconceptions include people thinking they can tell if someone else has an infection, and by only having sex with one other person they’re safe,” she said.

“While Chlamydia is a common and easily treated condition, a person will often not know if she or he has it as 50% of males and 80% of females will not show signs or symptoms,” she said.

“This is why Chlamydia is known as the silent infection.”

Helen said Chlamydia could cause pelvic inflammatory disease and cervicitis in women.

“Pregnant women will bear the burden of this disease,” she said.

“It increases the risk of premature rupture of the membranes and low birth weight.

“It may also be implicated in cases of infertility.”

In addition to recent ‘pee in a pot’ visits around the Lachlan Shire where young people were encouraged to provide urine samples for Chlamydia testing, GWAS is also encouraging anyone who thinks they may be at risk to contact 1800 816 925 for information on where to receive a free, confidential sexual health test.


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