Connections with sexual health services

Sexual health services are key to this program. Engaging sexual health services should begin as early as possible in the planning stages. The National Strategy on sexually transmissible infections notes Aboriginal people as a key priority population and sexual health services as key partners in addressing the needs of this population.

Sexual health services may be organised differently to Needle and Syringe Programs (NSP) and will need time to prepare for a different way of working which will include ‘drop in’ rather than scheduled appointments on Deadly Liver Mob program days, and groups of clients attending together.

Developing partnerships between relevant services (NSP, sexual health, liver clinic, Aboriginal health etc.) should occur very early in the program planning phase.

‘We started off with the optimal kind of site, we were close to, across the road from the major shopping centre, right next to the transport hub, near the methadone clinic, not far from the drug and alcohol services, right next door to the sexual health service and right in a very, very high density Aboriginal population sort of heartland, so you know, we had a great combination of factors there in setting up and we had some really good community, some great community relationships there.’

Staff Member

‘… I think a one stop shop [is the best model], so have the social worker in there, have the sexual health all in the one spot if you can possibly have it … because traditionally … people go to NSP’s, go to methadone clinics, they don’t travel very far if it’s not within that service. Getting them to go to a [mainstream health] service is a lot more difficult.’

Staff Member