Medicare ineligible PLHIV in Australia

NAPWHA, May 2019

This NAPWHA report is an analysis drawing together several years’ worth of data from the main pharmaceutical industry suppliers of compassionate access antiretroviral (ARV) therapy in Australia and combines this with, for the first time, data from the State and Territory jurisdictions to produce the most accurate estimate to-date of the number of Medicare ineligible PLHIV in Australia. It comes with recommendations for systemic improvements.

SHINE SA Scholarships For Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Focused Workers

SHINE SA, October 8, 2019

SHINE SA is offering scholarships for participation in our courses and professional development to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Focused Workers.

Priority for these scholarships will be given to professionals who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or work in an Aboriginal organisation, and have a strong interest in sexual and reproductive health.

SHINE SA will cover the full cost of the applicant’s course of choice (please see link below for eligible courses).

Applicants attending a course that exceeds 1 day in duration can apply for contribution to expenses incurred to attend the course.

Applicants must provide a statement outlining the support required and why, including estimated costs.

HOW TO APPLY:

Scholarship places in 2020 are limited. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible with consideration to their intended course start date.

AFAO publishes Australian PrEP roundup

 Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), 23 August, 2016

Following the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) decision not to recommend funding PrEP through the Pharmaceutical Benifits Scheme (PBS), AFAO has produced an Australian PrEP roundup paper to sustain advocacy efforts and to raise awareness about current options for accessing PrEP around the country.

In releasing their decision, the PBAC has said they accept the importance of PrEP but were unable to recommend it for a number of  reasons, including the cost-effectiveness of the price submitted by Gilead Sciences.

Despite this setback, AFAO will continue with community advocacy to have Gilead Sciences resubmit its application as soon as possible. Interim PrEP access arrangements remain crucial in the meantime.

Download Australian PrEP roundup

Decision-making about infant feeding among African women living with HIV in the UK

“It pains me because as a woman you have to breastfeed your baby”: decision-making about infant feeding among African women living with HIV in the UK

Sex Transm Infect 2016;92:331-336 doi:10.1136/sextrans-2015-052224

Abstract

Objectives UK guidance advises HIV-positive women to abstain from breast feeding. Although this eliminates the risk of postnatal vertical transmission of HIV, the impact of replacement feeding on mothers is often overlooked. This qualitative study examines, for the first time in the UK, decision-making about infant feeding among African women living with HIV.

Methods Between 2010 and 2011, we conducted semistructured interviews with 23 HIV-positive African women who were pregnant or had recently given birth. We recruited participants from three HIV antenatal clinics in London.

Results Women highlighted the cultural importance of breast feeding in African communities and the social pressure to breast feed, also describing fears that replacement feeding would signify their HIV status. Participants had significant concerns about physical and psychological effects of replacement feeding on their child and felt their identity as good mothers was compromised by not breast feeding. However, almost all chose to refrain from breast feeding, driven by the desire to minimise vertical transmission risk. Participants’ resilience was strengthened by financial assistance with replacement feeding, examples of healthy formula-fed children and support from partners, family, peers and professionals.

Conclusions The decision to avoid breast feeding came at considerable emotional cost to participants. Professionals should be aware of the difficulties encountered by HIV-positive women in refraining from breast feeding, especially those from migrant African communities where breast feeding is culturally normative. Appropriate financial and emotional support increases women’s capacity to adhere to their infant-feeding decisions and may reduce the emotional impact.

Read article (open access) here

 

Bobby Goldsmith Foundation financial support for PLHIV in SA

Living with HIV can be stressful and isolating. Bobby Goldsmith Foundation is here to help. Now with a base in Adelaide, BGF can provide direct financial support for people living with HIV (PLHIV) in South Australia to help people manage the cost of their health.

BGF works to ensure PLHIV have access to treatments and can remain adherent to vital medications. If you are living with HIV and on low income in South Australia, you may be eligible to access BGF support.