More than half of young Queenslanders believe the contraceptive pill will protect them from STI’s, a survey run by the state’s health service has found.
The poll, on Queenslanders aged 15-29, showed the majority of them believed using the contraceptive pill and the ‘withdrawal method’ would protect them from sexually transmitted infections.
More than half of the young people surveyed had never been tested for an STI, either because they were too embarrassed, or did not think they needed to.
More than half of young Queenslanders believe the contraceptive pill would prevent STIs, a survey run by the state’s health service has found
Only 14 per cent of those surveyed believed they were at risk of an STI at all, which Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young says is ‘incredibly concerning’.
‘In 2017, we saw more than 23,000 notifications of chlamydia and almost 5,000 notifications of gonorrhea, which is the highest we’ve seen in Queensland in the last five years,’ she said.
‘The truth is, if you are sexually active, you are at risk of an STI and condoms are the best form of protection from most STIs – this is the message we want Queenslanders to hear loud and clear.’
The research found 60 per cent of young Queenslanders surveyed believed the contraceptive pill would protect them from STIs, while 52 per cent believed the withdrawal method was effective in STI prevention.
The shocking results come after the highest reporting rates of Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia in five years
‘Sexual health is an important part of our general health, yet it is something that is often neglected,’ Dr Young said.
‘In Queensland, the statistics show that more than 50 per cent of young people aged 16 to 29 have never been tested for an STI, because they are too embarrassed to talk to a health professional or because they don’t believe they are at risk.
‘If you’re sexually active, it is recommended that you have a sexual health check at least once a year, and more often if you have unprotected sex or change partners.
‘Most STIs don’t have any symptoms, so you should get a check even if you don’t think anything is wrong.’
More than 50 per cent of young people in Queensland aged 16 to 29 have never been tested for an STI