Webinar will help GPs discuss STIs, boost patient health

Sexual health consultation is a vital part of early intervention and prevention of sexually transmitted infections.

Unfortunately, many patients and GPs are not comfortable discussing sexual histories. This reluctance can adversely affect patient care.

Healthy North Coast aims to help GPs and GP registrars enhance their ability to have discussions around a patient’s sexual history without stigma and judgement, boosting two-way communication.

To this end, Healthy North Coast is hosting an RACGP-accredited sexual health CPD webinar on 14 September from 7 pm – 9 pm.

The webinar will support attendees in understanding the importance of a sexual history consultation and assist them to develop effective communication skills when taking a sexual health history.

It will also highlight the rising incidence of syphilis (between 2015 and 2020, syphilis increased by 162% in regional areas), the fact that antibiotic resistant gonorrhoea is a major public health concern, and the reality that prevention of HIV in rural and regional Australia lags compared to metropolitan areas.

Some topics the webinar will cover are:

  • the impact that syphilis and antimicrobial resistant gonorrhoea are having on our local and wider community and the ways in which we can minimise the risk of these STIs and blood-borne viruses
  • the resources at our disposal to help with contact tracing and following best practice guidelines when managing STIs and BBVs
  • use of pre-exposure prophylaxis in general practice and its effective minimisation of HIV transmission.

Dr Kathleen Kramer from the Coffs Harbour Women’s Health Centre has registered for the webinar. She is keen to see local experts teaching local pathways about health matters of local concern.

‘We are routinely screening pregnant women and MSM, but are we limiting our screening too much with other patients?’ Dr Kramer said.

‘We need to ask ourselves, are we seeing less of it because we are underscreening or we are seeing less because it’s not a concern outside of metropolitan areas. This is where good sexual health history taking is essential.’

She is also looking forward to the webinar covering recent changes to the Australian STI Management Guidelines and how these changes affect practitioners.

Speakers on the evening include:

  • Dr Kym Collins, Staff Specialist HIV and Sexual Health
  • Dr Natalie Edmiston, Staff Specialist Sexual Health
  • Dr Amir Guindy, GP Wauchope
  • Kate Chaffey, Registered Nurse, Clinic 33, Port Macquarie
  • Nives Houlihan, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Clinic 33, Coffs Harbour
  • Dr David Smith, Medical Director HIV & Sexual Health NNSW/MNC
  • Dr Hafiz Talib, GP Coffs Harbour.

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