NACCHO Aboriginal #Sexualhealth #WorldAidsDay #UANDMECANSTOPHIV Community embraces Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 2017 #HIV Awareness Week

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 ” With diagnoses and rates of HIV in Aboriginal communities at an all-time high since 1992, this year’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week (ATSIHAW) is more important than ever. Now in its fourth year, the role of ATSIHAW is to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia in HIV prevention.

ATISHAW is an opportunity to promote action, awareness and advocacy at all levels of government and community, to provide much needed resources to address the rising rates of HIV,

Action is required in policy, programming, clinical service delivery; awareness is required across communities and in clinical settings; and advocacy is required at all levels of health service delivery and governments.”

Associate Professor James  Ward

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The theme of this year’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week is ‘U and Me Can Stop HIV’ and we know that education and awareness are vitally important in our battle against HIV and STIs,”

We have had a variety of media resources available but until now, only a small number have been culturally appropriate for Indigenous people.

With messages like ‘Looking after our mob starts with looking after ourselves’, these new videos are more likely to cut through, especially to younger Aboriginal people, who are most vulnerable to these infections.”.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, this week officially released the videos, and an accompanying range of social and print media resources, at the launch of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week.

Three animated education and awareness videos focus on HIV, STIs and PrEP (a daily medication that can prevent HIV), which aim to enhance awareness of HIV prevention. These are housed on the website  www.atsihiv.org.au,

Watch 1 of 3 Videos HERE

ATSIHAW 2017 runs from Monday, 27 November to Sunday, 3 December. The Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, officially launched ATSIHAW on Wednesday, 29 November at a breakfast hosted by Senator Dean Smith, Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of HIV/AIDS, Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

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Other dignitaries in attendance included : Senator Richard Di Natale, Leader of the Australian Greens; Professor Sharon Lewin, Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections; Dr Dawn Casey, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO);

Ms Michelle Tobin, Chair of the Positive Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Network (PATSIN) – a group representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with HIV); as well as other members of the Australian Parliament.

Concerning statistics

Recently released national data shows the rate of HIV diagnoses among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is now more than double the rate for the non-Indigenous Australian-born population. This rate has increased by 33 per cent during the last five years, while the rate in the non-Indigenous Australian-born population has decreased by 22 per cent in the same period – creating a new gap in health between the two populations.

Associate Professor James Ward, Head Infectious Diseases Research Aboriginal Health at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), and ATSIHAW committee member, said that this is absolutely unacceptable.

Over the last five years, significant differences have appeared in the HIV epidemic between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and the non-Indigenous Australian-born population. Although men who have sex with men make up the majority of cases in both groups (51 per cent vs 74 per cent), a greater proportion of Indigenous cases are because of injecting drug use (14 per cent vs three per cent) or through heterosexual sex (20 per cent vs. 14 per cent).

Ms Michelle Tobin said that more work is required to ensure there are strategies for all of these groups of people in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities rolled out, and that these have impact.

The other unique issue occurring in Australia is the continuing increase in HIV rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people each year, despite the major advances in HIV testing, diagnostics and treatment. Innovative HIV test-and-treat strategies and large-scale pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis trials (PrEP) trials have successfully engaged the gay community and are resulting in reductions across jurisdictions, but but to date, have had little impact in Aboriginal communities.

“We need to make sure that these strategies have impact on all of the Australian population – not just some”, Associate Professor Ward added.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are generally not benefiting from these advances.”

Community support; an important part of ATSIHAW

The overarching theme of ATSIHAW is ‘U AND ME CAN STOP HIV’. This highlights the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and the role we can all play in preventing new HIV cases and improving the outcomes for people living with HIV.

This year, ATSIHAW is holding over 55 community events across Australia at Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and other community services. The number of ATSIHAW events and strong social media engagement, demonstrates the growing sense of community responsibility for spreading awareness of the importance of HIV prevention.

Alice Springs this week

High-profile ambassadors for ATSIHAW have also been recruited, including Steven Oliver from ABC’s Black Comedy. Steven said that he’s involved in ATSIHAW because he wants to help fight and break down the stigma associated with HIV and those living with it.

Professor Kerry Arabena and Dr Pat Anderson AM are also Ambassadors for ATSIHAW, alongside 30 other community members who are all concerned about HIV in the communities.

New HIV resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

A new set of resources will be launched by the Honourable Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Minister for Indigenous Health, including three animated education and awareness videos focusing on HIV, STIs and PrEP (a daily medication that can prevent HIV), which aim to enhance awareness of HIV prevention. These are housed on the website www.atsihiv.org.au, als

New animated videos voiced by young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the latest weapons in the fight again HIV and sexually transmitted infections in Indigenous communities.

Part 2 Minister’s Press release

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, this week  officially released the videos, and an accompanying range of social and print media resources, at the launch of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week.

The videos have been developed specifically to counter the shame and stigma that can be associated with HIV.

“World Aids Day is on 1 December and it is important we take this opportunity to talk about the rates of HIV diagnosis in our Indigenous communities,” Minister Wyatt said.

“In the past 30, years Australia has made progress in reducing the rates of STIs, however, despite advances in testing and treatment we continue to see Indigenous STI and HIV diagnoses on the rise.”

In 2016, it was estimated that the HIV notification rate for Indigenous people was more than double the rate among non-Indigenous people, with a greater proportion of newly diagnosed HIV infection attributed to heterosexual contact and injecting drug use.

“Working together with Indigenous communities, the States, Territories and local health services, to counter these infections is a key Turnbull Government priority,” said Minister Wyatt.

“This includes $8 million to support a range of programs focussed on delivering culturally appropriate sexual health services, plus a further $8.8 million over three years to target priority areas including testing, education and awareness.

“We are also developing a long-term response to STIs and blood borne viruses in our Indigenous communities, with a proposed strategic approach and action plan due to be received by the Government in December.

“The ‘U and Me Can Stop HIV’ theme of this year’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week is a timely reminder of the need to work together to improve sexual health.”

ATSIHAW is administered by SAHMRI, with funding provided by the Commonwealth Department of Health

 

Aboriginal Sexual Health #NAIDOC2017@sahmriAU Launches new initiative to prevent the spread of syphilis in remote #Indigenous communities

“ This multifaceted approach to educate young people is well overdue. The resources that have been developed and focus tested with young people will go a very long way in improving outcomes in the community.”

Associate Professor James Ward, Head of Infectious Disease Research – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health at SAHMRI said that education and awareness about syphilis transmission and its consequences is vital if we are to make a difference.

Consider this fact

Since 2011, there has been a sustained outbreak of infectious syphilis occurring in remote areas spanning northern, central and South Australia among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people predominantly aged between 15 and 35 years.

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute’s (SAHMRI) Infection and Immunity Theme has launched  a new multifaceted community education and awareness program in the fight against syphilis in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The campaign, entitled ‘Young, Deadly, Syphilis Free’, will utilise mediums including two television commercials.

TV Commercial 1 View Here

TV Commercial 2 View Here

social media, local radio and a new website to communicate to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live in remote communities the importance of being tested for syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection (STIs) that when left untreated, can have devastating effects.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/youngdeadlysyphilisfree/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/youngdeadlysyphilisfree/

Website: http://youngdeadlyfree.org.au/young-deadly-syphilis-free/

Why is this campaign so important?

This project, funded by the Commonwealth Government Department of Health, has the ultimate objective of increasing testing rates among young Aboriginal people in the affected areas so that rates of syphilis are reduced in these communities.

Since 2011, there has been a sustained outbreak of infectious syphilis occurring in remote areas spanning northern, central and South Australia among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people predominantly aged between 15 and 35 years.

The accrued number of cases is now over 1,400 including four neonatal deaths and several other cases of congenital syphilis notified. Worryingly, syphilis continues to spread into new areas, and this needs to be stopped.

In addition to targeting young people, this campaign will have focus on healthcare services and providers, through the use of supporting resources and education materials, such as videos, posters and animations.

Clinicians will play an important part in the success of this project and they are encouraged to consider talking more broadly about the syphilis outbreak among people of influence in their community to raise awareness.

Furthermore, the project will trial social media ambassadors, who will be young people from remote communities to help spread the campaign and its objectives.

Attached is also the Email signature jpeg which some members may be willing to use to help promote testing

Thank you for sharing

 

NACCHO Aboriginal #SexyHealth #ATSIHAW : Minister @KenWyattMP launches Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander #HIV Awareness Week

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We have to acknowledge that those with HIV in Indigenous communities may experience additional barriers to health care which relate to stigma, shame and racism. To make real progress and combat the spread of HIV we need to work together,

“We need to eliminate discriminatory and stigmatising behaviour wherever, and whenever, we see it so people can seek the treatment they need without the fear of negative consequences.”

Assistant Minister Ken Wyatt announcing funding of $485,000  at ATSIHAW launch with Pat Turner, James Ward , Mark Saunders pictured below

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Picture above NACCHO CEO Pat Turner launching the new website  http://www.atsihiv.org.au at Parliament House this Morning

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NACCHO Aboriginal #SexyHealth #ATSIHAW : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander #HIV Awareness Week

Article from Page 12 and 13  NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper out Wednesday 16 November , 24 Page lift out Koori Mail : or download

naccho-newspaper-nov-2016 PDF file size 9 MB

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Funding to conduct a survey to better understand why young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at increased risk of blood borne viruses (BBV) and sexually transmissible infections (STI) was announced today.

The Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley, MP and the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM, MP announced the funding at the launch of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week.

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“While Australia has maintained one of the lowest HIV rates in the world it is still present and we need to do more,” Ms Ley said.

According to the Kirby Institute’s Annual Surveillance Report, the rate of HIV among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2015 is more than two times higher than the Australian-born, non-Indigenous population, with rates nearly three times higher for those aged over 35 years.

“While huge inroads have been made to prevent the spread of HIV, we need to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have timely access to scientific advances in treatment and diagnosis, as well as access to best practice management of HIV that is culturally safe,” Ms Ley said.

“This is why the Australian Government will provide funding of $485,000 to the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute to conduct a second GOANNA Survey to gain a better understanding of why our young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at increased risk of STI.”

The Australian Government remains committed to providing better public health programs that are responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through targeted initiatives including Closing the Gap, the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 and the BBV and STIs Strategy.

aids-video Watch video here

Or check out the new website http://www.atsihiv.org.au

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NACCHO Alert : Massive” investment required into Aboriginal injecting drug use rehabilitation and treatment .

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Research suggests injecting drug use is on the rise in Indigenous communities.

Injecting drug use is escalating among Indigenous Australians, bringing with it alarming rates of HIV and hepatitis C infection.

The rate of hepatitis C among Aboriginal people is now three times that of non-Indigenous Australians, research to be presented at an alcohol and other drugs conference on Tuesday shows.

The story is pretty grim 

Associate Professor James Ward pictured below at a recent NACCHO Health Summit

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And, over the 20 years to 2014, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders accessing needle syringe programs increased from five per cent of the total to 14 per cent.

“The story is pretty grim, to be honest,” Associate Professor James Ward from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute said speaking with the Sydney Morning Herald

“There’s an estimate that one to two per cent of the Australian population have ever injected drugs. Around 10 per cent of Aboriginal people have ever injected drugs,” he told Fairfax Media.

“We’re still getting increasing rates of HIV and hepatitis C.”

“Ice” and other amphetamine-type drugs are the most common injected in Aboriginal communities and the waiting lists for rehabilitation centres around the country are growing.

While the problem was still centred in urban and outer-urban areas, it was encroaching on remote communities too.

Associate Professor Ward, who is presenting his findings at the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) conference in Perth, said a “massive” investment in rehabilitation and treatment was required.

There was a need to expand the reach of needle and syringe programs, he said. And Aboriginal medical services need to adopt harm minimisation programs as a fixture in their practices.

“We need a massive investment,” Associate Professor Ward said

$630 million for over 800 innovative research projects

The Turnbull Government will invest more than $600 million to support Australia’s world-leading researchers to find the next prevention of disease or cure as it continues to drive innovation in Australia, Minister for Health Sussan Ley announced yesterday

Ms Ley said over 2,000 researchers would share in the $630 million for projects including: obesity prevention; cancer genomics and hereditary diseases; a new medication to help treat severe ice addiction; new treatment for drug-resistant depression; different treatments for PTSD and the impact shift working has on pregnancy outcomes.

“This $630 million investment will enable our world-class and internationally-recognised researchers to develop the new treatments of the 21st century and beyond,” Ms Ley said.

“The grants announced today will play an integral role in finding new approaches to prevention and treatments for ice addiction, post-traumatic symptom disorder, cancer, as well as new research to establish a link between shift work and pregnancy outcomes.

“The projects span the full spectrum of health and medical research – from commercialising new ideas to improving healthcare delivery, to a basic understanding of diseases at genetic or molecular levels.”

Ms Ley said the announcement includes $122 million for cancer research, $50 million for mental health research and $25 million for dementia research, amongst other diseases and conditions. The funding will support 836 projects and the work of approximately 2200 researchers.

“Our research workforce is one of the strongest in the world and I have no doubt that through their expertise, talent and creativity, these researchers will make huge advances in improving human health,” Ms Ley said.

Ms Ley said the establishment of the Medical Research Future Fund had sent a clear message that the Turnbull Government is “absolutely committed” to supporting health and medical research in Australia well into the future.

“The landmark Medical Research Future Fund will identify and coordinate national health priorities, as well as continue to support individual research projects through the National Health and Medical Research Council,” Ms Ley said.

“As a nation, it’s important we have clear national goals and priorities that allow us to deliver the game-changing breakthroughs in medical research and technology that will go on to not only improve our individual lives and but the way we function and prosper as a nation,” Ms Ley said.

“This is best delivered through a co-ordinated approach to investing in research spanning a range of projects and industries and that’s what we want from Australia’s new Medical Research Future Fund.

“While the Turnbull Government is increasing medical research investment, Labor tried to cut over half a billion dollars from it instead.”

National Health and Medical Research Council CEO Professor Anne Kelso said the announcement also included the second largest grant in NHMRC history, worth $25 million over five years.

“Drawing together a national network of more than 80 team members, this potentially transformative project will examine how to use the extraordinary recent advances in human genetics to improve patient care in Australia,” Professor Kelso said.

“The research funded today is at the forefront of our knowledge of health and disease. These grants will support Australia’s best new and established researchers working throughout the health and medical research sector – in universities, institutes, hospitals and primary health care.

“They support discovery and innovation, development and clinical trials of new therapies and public health interventions, and improvements in healthcare delivery.”

The grants were selected by independent panels which drew on the expertise of thousands of researchers to assess applications across 12 different NHMRC schemes.

For specific information relating to individual grants visit the NHMRC website or contact the NHMRC media unit.

ENDS