The 6th National Survey of Secondary Students and
Sexual Health was conducted in 2018 and involved
6,327 students enrolled in Years 10, 11 and 12 in
the Government, Catholic and Independent school
systems, and from every Australian state and territory,
of which 529 were from WA.
The survey, funded by the Commonwealth Department of
Health, aims to provide information on progress in key priority
areas for action in the Five National Blood Borne Viruses and
Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategies 2018-2022.2-6 These
priority areas include improving knowledge about the human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV), sexually transmissible infections
(STIs) and blood-borne viruses (BBVs); monitoring behaviours
that impact on BBVs and STIs; and educational initatives to
improve knowledge and minimise behaviours that increase the
risk of infection.
Key findings from the WA report indicate there continues to
be room to improve young peoples’ sexual health knowledge;
that students are largely engaging in responsible behaviours,
though there is room to increase risk-reduction practices; and
that students are accessing a diverse array of educational
sources to learn about BBVs and STIs, though more could
be done to improve programs both in and out of schools.