Chlamydia Case Study

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Case Study: Aboriginal Young Women with Chlamydia in Rural and Remote Australia

1. Introduction

Chlamydia is an asymptomatic, bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI), which disproportionately affects young Australians, particularly females, and individuals who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Left untreated, chlamydia can affect health and fertility, with Aboriginal women experiencing high rates of pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and premature childbirth (Ireland et al., 2015).

2. The Social Model of Health

2.1 Social Distribution
Chlamydia is the most frequently reported notifiable condition in Australia, with young people aged 15-24 more frequently diagnosed than any other age group (The Kirby Institute, 2014). Females are more likely to be diagnosed than males, and notifications for
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These include sexual behaviours, such as low condom use and multiple sexual partners, and limited knowledge about STIs (Mitchell et al., 2014, Kang et al., 2010). In addition to the common intermediary determinants, studies focusing on Aboriginal young women in rural and remote communities also identify the following intermediary determinants:

• Material circumstances: o Overcrowding and instability of housing (Ireland et al., 2015, Fagan, 2010, Bailie, 2007, Mooney-Somers et al., 2012) o Limited education opportunities (Chenhall et al., 2013, Senior and Chenhall, 2008, Larkins et al., 2007, Fagan, 2010) o Limited access to health services (Chenhall et al., 2013, Ireland et al., 2015, Fagan, 2010)
• Behavioural and psychosocial factors: o Social/peer norms and pressures (Senior et al., 2014, Senior and Chenhall, 2008) o Substance use (Senior et al., 2014, Stark and Hope, 2007) o Violence (Larkins et al., 2007, Ireland et al., 2015, Senior and Chenhall,