Tackling HIV to live Young, Deadly, Free

Source: SAHMRI, 27 November 2018

A new multiplatform media campaign called Young, Deadly, Free aims to capitalise on a recent reduction in HIV diagnoses among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The campaign is the brainchild of Associate Professor James Ward and is part of a federally-funded $3.4 million project being administered through the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

“Our most recent figures showed an annual reduction of 30 per cent in new HIV diagnoses among First Nations people, but overall the stats remain unacceptably high,” Associate Professor Ward said.

The prevalence of HIV among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is 1.6 times that of the non-Indigenous Australian-born population.

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New TV and Social Media Campaign Tackles First Nations HIV

Source: Minister for Indigenous Health, Media Hub, The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, 27 November 2018

A new television, social media and community campaign has been launched during Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week, to increase understanding of HIV and reduce new cases among First Nations people.

A new television, social media and community campaign has been launched during Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week, to increase understanding of HIV and reduce new cases among First Nations people.

Part of a $3.4 million project funded by our Government, through the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), the campaign aims to capitalise on a reduction in new HIV diagnoses last year.

The campaign has First Nations voices and people speaking directly to First Nations people – communicating with cultural understanding, to help ensure these lifesaving messages get through.

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Health authorities declare syphilis outbreak has spread to Adelaide

Source: ABC News, Exclusive by Rebecca Puddy and Isabel Dayman, 14 November 2018

A syphilis outbreak has been declared in Adelaide, as health authorities warn unborn babies could die if the infectious disease transmits through the womb.

SA Health issued an alert to medical practitioners, advising the syphilis outbreak had formally been extended to Adelaide after previously being in place in the state's Far North, Eyre Peninsula and western regions.

The outbreak began in regional Queensland in 2011, and since then thousands of people across four states have been infected.

The Federal Government's response to the outbreak — which includes rapid response tests — is yet to reach South Australia.

It has been rolled out in regional centres in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

SA Health communicable disease control director Louise Flood said there had been a "small but sustained increase in syphilis cases in metropolitan Adelaide over the past six months".

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Major study to plug gaps in Indigenous health data

SourceNational Indigenous Times, 30 October 2018

The biggest ever study of health and wellbeing among Indigenous adults will be launched Thursday.

Among the data to be collected by researchers is the impact of historical policy decisions such as the Stolen Generations and exposure to racism, as well as how culture is linked to wellbeing.

The Mayi Kuwayu study will kick off in Brisbane at the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Members’ Conference.

It is spearheaded by Australian National University Associate Professor and Wongaibon man Ray Lovett and is the first of its kind.

Hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are expected to participate.

“We are trying to plug gaps in data and change the mistaken narrative that being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is the cause of ill health,” Associate Professor Lovett said.

“It is important because past policies likely contribute to intergenerational health and wellbeing outcomes for our mob.”

“Governments and statistical agencies are very reluctant to collect and report information on that.”

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HIV diagnoses hit seven year low: Australia’s annual HIV figures released today

SourceKirby Institute at UNSW Sydney,  24 September 2018

Australia has recorded its lowest level of HIV diagnoses in seven years, according to a new report from the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney.

The report, released today at the Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference in Sydney, found that there were 963 new HIV diagnoses in 2017, the lowest number since 2010. Researchers are attributing the promising results to more people getting tested for HIV, more people living with HIV starting treatment which reduces the risk of HIV transmission to effectively zero, and an increased use of preexposure prophylaxis (or PrEP, an HIV prevention pill).

“We should be very pleased with these results,” said Professor Rebecca Guy, head of the Kirby Institute’s Surveillance, Evaluation and Research Program. “Although the declines are relatively small, the downward trend over recent years, alongside increased testing rates and enhanced national prevention strategies, mean we can be cautiously optimistic about these reductions.”

Gay and bisexual men continue to represent the highest proportion of new HIV diagnoses in Australia, accounting for almost two-thirds of all infections. “Some encouraging news from this year’s report is that we’re seeing the greatest reductions in HIV diagnoses in this population, with a 15% decrease in diagnoses in the past year,” said Professor Guy.

“This decline is good news, but there is much more work to be done. PrEP offers every opportunity to drive down HIV to low levels, but it needs to reach all people who could benefit from it. In particular we need to improve access for gay and bisexual men living outside of inner-city areas, gay and bisexual men born overseas and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander gay and bisexual men.”

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