People with disability are a diverse group of people with diverse needs and experiences who are too often forgotten in sexual health promotion. The United Nations (2009) identifies people with disability as ‘those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others’. People with disability have the right to have sexual relationships, to access sexual health services and information, and to make decisions about their own bodies. Yet young people with disability often have numerous barriers to attaining good sexual health and wellbeing. It is commonly assumed that they don’t or can’t have sex, or that they don’t have diverse gender or sexual identities. Where these assumptions are held by support workers or professionals, this may impact a person’s ability to access sexual health information and services. Young people with disability, particularly young people with intellectual disability, may receive limited sexual health education at school and may therefore miss out on learning key sexual health messages. Sexual health programs and resources are often inaccessible or not suited to the person’s particular needs or circumstances. For more information on sexual health promotion with young people with a disability, see the references here. Download Sexual health promotion with young people with a disability.
This factsheet uses the acronym LGBTIQA+ to refer to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and asexual people. The ‘+’ symbol refers to individuals who are not represented by these terms and who are not cisgendered or heterosexual. Sexual health promotions often focus on messages for the heterosexual community. This provides LGBTIQA+ young people with little relevant information about how to look after their sexual health. High rates of STIs and pregnancy among LGBTIQA+ young people indicate the need for health promotions that are inclusive and relevant. This Fact Sheet below may assist you when working with these communities. Download Sexual health promotion with young people of diverse gender and sexuality fact sheet PDF
Engaging with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) young people around the topic of sexual health poses unique challenges. CALD communities in Australia encompass over 200 different language groups. This means that what may be appropriate for one person or community may not be appropriate for another. Sexual health can also be a very sensitive topic in many of these cultures. This fact sheet may assist you when working with CALD young people around the topic of sexual health. Download Sexual health promotion with culturally & linguistically diverse young people fact sheet PDF
We need to be highly proactive and aware of cultural requirements when working with Aboriginal young people. These young people can face many barriers in accessing sexual health services and education, including a lack of access to culturally appropriate resources and services. This is also a culturally diverse group. Materials or approaches that are appropriate for one person or community may not be appropriate for others. Aboriginal young people are a priority population group in the NSW Health STI Strategy. The following fact sheet may assist you when working with Aboriginal young people around sexual health. Download Sexual health promotion with Aboriginal young people fact sheet PDF