15 Jan 2015

Work to improve Pacific sexual health stats

10:58 am on 15 January 2015

All 22 Pacific countries and territories have signed up to a scheme aiming to combat the region's high rate of sexually transmitted infections which is to be more inclusive of minority groups.

A spokesperson for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Dennie Iniakwala, who helped design the strategy, said the aim is to expand the reach of sexual health services in the region.

Mr Iniakwala said some of the most pressing issues facing the Pacific include the prevalence of STIs, HIV, teenage pregnancy and sexual assault.

He said the new health agenda aims to reach vulnerable groups including transgender people.

"So any country that implements activities relating to the shared agenda would actually make sure that those populations that are unable, or were unable to access services before, they should be reaching them as well."

He said the scheme would open treatment up to people in remote locations and minority groups who had been missing out.

Mr Iniakwala said he hoped more accessible treatment would lead to less stigma about sexual health.

Woman working in the health sector.

Photo: AFP