ASHM Report Back
Clinical posts from members and guests of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) from various international medical and scientific conferences on HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and sexual health.
Day 2: No Question Too Awkward for Nurse Nettie
Day 2 Rapid Fire Sessions: Health Promotion and Education
Carolyn Murray (on behalf of Gemma Hearnshaw) – NSW STI Programs Unit (STIPU): "No Question Too Awkward: Nurse Nettie, the Online Sexual Health Nurse".
Nurse Nettie is a confidential, virtual online sexual health nurse created to allow young people to email questions they may have about their sexual health/sexuality and receive an answer from a sexual health professional within 24 hours (although Nurse Nettie does have weekends off!) Nurse Nettie was created to address the concern that young people may be too embarrassed or afraid to ask a Doctor/Nurse or parent/caregiver questions about sexual health.
Nurse Netttie does not provide diagnosis online but instead refers on to the most appropriate service where indicated.
Nurse Nettie commenced in April 2014 and the data presented was up until March 2016. In this time Nurse Nettie had received 761 questions with 77.4% of these being from people aged <30yrs. Approximately 52% were from NSW and 17% were from abroad.
Common question categories are listed in order below:
STI/HIV risk – 14%
Anatomy – 12%
Symptoms – 11%
STI/HIV testing – 10%
Contraception – 8%
In conclusion, Nurse Nettie has been shown to allow large numbers of young people to receive information about their sexual health in a confidential, personal and specific manner.
Nurse Nettie can be accessed at: https://playsafe.health.nsw.gov.au/ask-nurse-nettie