Leading Aboriginal researcher Associate Professor James Ward* is calling for action in remote Australia to deal with a preventable epidemic of sexually transmissible infections — including syphilis — in a population that’s no more sexually active than non-Indigenous people of the same age.
He joined Dr Norman Swan’s Health Report on ABC RN.
Later this month James will present to the National Rural Health Conference about addressing sexually transmitted infections in remote Australia.
*James Ward is Associate Professor, Flinders University; & Head of Infectious Diseases Research, Aboriginal Health, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.
The head of South Australia’s peak Aboriginal health body has warned that a State Government plan to enforce mandatory drug treatment on young people risks dispossessing Aboriginal children of their culture.
Aboriginal Health Council state branch CEO Shane Mohor has joined a growing chorus of social service and health bodies that have criticised the Controlled Substance (Youth Treatment Orders) Amendment Bill currently before state parliament.
With rising national rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and in particular chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, it’s important that SHINE SA support those at the frontline of diagnosis and prevention – general practitioners. SHINE SA has recently been funded by Country SA PHN to deliver a program to support rural and regional health workers.
The Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health Program aims to help build capacity and skills around sexual health through education, personalised support and information.
Education and training will be offered in regional areas of South Australia and will focus on addressing the current syphilis outbreak and the ongoing chlamydia epidemic.
RAINING AND EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES
Through this program SHINE SA will provide opportunities for information, resources, education and training. These opportunities can be both formal and informal depending on needs.
This will include:
evening education session/s (see below)
webinar and case presentations
personalised support including telephone advice
information for health practices located in the region
increasing access to formal certificate qualifications where relevant
SHINE SA is currently applying for RACGP QI/CPD points for the regional evening education sessions.
This program will reach the following regions:
Murray Mallee Region
Mid North & Yorke Peninsula
General practitioners, nurses and/or midwives, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Aboriginal Health Workers in these regions are encouraged to express interest in receiving training from SHINE SA.
FREE! There is no cost for education and training for those eligible.
“No‐one’s driving this bus” – qualitative analysis of PrEP health promotion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gay and bisexual men
Aust NZ J Public Health, 2019; 43:18-23; doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12852
Objective: HIV prevention tools such as pre‐exposure prophylaxis require equitable access and uptake to protect all at‐risk populations. This project assessed the perceived barriers to accessible HIV prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gay and bisexual men (GBM) and evaluated the presence of health promotion for pre‐exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for this population from the perspective of service providers.
Methods: Eighteen semi‐structured interviews with healthcare providers, researchers and AIDS Council employees were qualitatively analysed for themes and concepts related to PrEP‐specific health promotion.
Results: Respondents noted AIDS Councils and affiliated sexual health clinics had been instrumental in promoting PrEP to at‐risk GBM. However, many Aboriginal gay and bisexual men who are not well connected with these communities and services may not have been exposed to this health promotion and therefore have not accessed PrEP effectively.
Conclusions: Aboriginal community and gay community controlled health organisations need to collaborate to ensure they deliver effective and tailored health promotion to Aboriginal communities.
Implications for public health: The rising HIV notification rates in Aboriginal Australians is an example of the health gap experienced by First Nation people. Effective HIV prevention is required to ensure this gap does not widen further, and that Australia meets its goal of preventing all new HIV infections. However, these efforts will be hampered by ineffective health promotion of HIV prevention tools, such as PrEP, for Aboriginal Australians.
The extent of family and domestic violence experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women has been revealed in a new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report using previously unpublished data from the 2014-15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey.
ABS Director of the Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics, Debbie Goodwin said “Of those women who had experienced violence,more than two-thirds (72 per cent) identified an intimate partner or family member as a perpetrator in their most recent experience. This was twice the rate reported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men (35 per cent).
The team at Young Deadly Free have been busy creating new posters with Aboriginal communities across Australia. The posters aim to get their key messages out to young people and others in a fresh, engaging way.
All of our posters highlight positive messages from people living and working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities about the importance of STI and BBV testing.