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siren project overview

Name of Project

Evaluation of the Commonwealth STI Project: the Blood-borne Viruses (BBVs) and Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs) Prevention and Education Programme (Young, deadly, STI & BBV free)

Project Status


Ethics approval

Given the national scope of this project, ethics has been requested and obtained from multiple Aboriginal Ethics committees from South Australia (Aboriginal Health Research and Ethics Committee: 04-17-722), Western Australia (Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee: 789), and Northern Territory (Menzies School of Health Research Aboriginal Ethics Sub Committee: HREC-2017-2818, and Central Australian HREC: CA-17-2823). Reciprocal ethics approval from Curtin University’s Ethics Committee is pending.

Chief Investigators

Dr Roanna Lobo and Dr Belinda D’Costa

Timeframe of Project

01/07/2016 – 30/09/2018

Brief overview

Coordinated by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in partnership with peak bodies and local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, the Commonwealth STI Project seeks to increase the uptake of testing and treatment for STIs and BBVs among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote and very remote areas of Australia. The project, branded the Young, deadly, STI & BBV free project, will be implemented across 25 communities in South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland.

The core components of the project include:

  • developing and implementing health promotion resources about STIs and BBVs for young people, people of influence in the communities, and clinicians (accessible via specially designed website)
  • developing and implementing a peer education model for both young people and clinicians
  • establishing STI monitoring systems for STI and BBV testing.

The following evaluation objectives will be assessed:

  1. Reach, uptake, and impact of STI/BBV community education resources and website
  2. Reach, impact, adoption, and implementation of peer education programs for young people
  3. Reach, impact, adoption, and implementation of online peer education kit for clinicians.  


The project is funded by the Commonwealth Government under Outcome 3 Activity 6: Increasing Uptake of Testing and Treatment for BBV and STI in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities Living in Remote and Very Remote Areas under the Fourth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Blood-borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy 2014-2017.

SiREN’s role

SiREN has been commissioned by the SAHMRI to be an external independent evaluator for key project activities.

Project outputs and impacts

The Young, deadly, STI & BBV free project seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through increases in health literacy, skills, and the uptake of testing and treatment for STIs and BBVs. It will also provide an opportunity for the development of career pathways for youth peer educators, recognition of prior learning through the peer education training for community service or Aboriginal health worker certificates. The project is also expected to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with STIs and BBVs.

In addition to discussing the lessons learned from the project, including enablers and barriers to implementation, the final project report will also provide:

  • Clear recommendations on how to increase the effectiveness of future similar projects
  • Insight into the effectiveness of the methodologies adopted for each component/sub-activity as well as the strategies for communicating and engaging with the priority populations and target communities 
  • Support and enable Aboriginal clinicians to mentor and create career pathways that will increase the capacity of Aboriginal people to promote health
  • Strategic advice to Governments promoting practice and policy based on best available evidence.


Data collection and evaluation of results is ongoing for this project. No publications are upcoming at this time, but are expected in the future.