Intersex Peer Support Australia launches

Intersex Peer Support Australia (IPSA), 25th October 2019

On the eve of Intersex Awareness Day, an internationally observed awareness day designed to highlight human rights issues faced by intersex people, and observed on 26 October each year, one of the oldest intersex groups in the world is launching a new name, branding and website.

Intersex Peer Support Australia (IPSA) will carry on the important work of the 1985-founded Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group Australia (AISSGA), which for more than three decades has been dedicated to assisting people born with variations in sex characteristics and their families, providing Australia-wide peer support, information and advocacy.

Elise Nyhuis, President of IPSA said, “The new identity will make us more visible to government agencies and support funders, and is more inclusive of the more than 40 known intersex variations, our diverse community and their families.”

“Our organisation advocates for and provides peer support to its members and the wider intersex community, focusing on the lived experience of having intersex bodies that physically differ from stereotypical, medical notions of male and female.

“The intersex community in Australia is strong and growing as people come out of hiding to stand together in the face of continued challenges from medicalisation, stigma and discrimination, shame, mental health issues, social inclusion, access to affirmative healthcare, parenting and human rights protection from medically unnecessary medical interventions on intersex children.

“Beyond our core work of providing intersex peer support, IPSA advocates for intersex issues through educating service providers, liaising with medical professionals, conducting policy review and consulting with government and NGOs, as well as by building community through coordinating opportunities and events for people with intersex variations to meet and share knowledge and experiences.

“The updated IPSA website will be a great resource for the whole community to learn more about the ‘I’ in the LGBTIQ acronym, while our membership will have access to a range of online extras through password-secured access,” said Elise.

“I never realised they were so different”: understanding the impact of the labia library

Women’s Health Victoria, October 2018

Recognising that women are increasingly altering their genitalia through cosmetic surgery, WHV developed the Labia Library, a unique online resource that supports positive body image by informing women about the natural diversity in normal female genital appearance.

The Labia Library houses a gallery of 40 unaltered photographs of female genitalia.
This provides viewers with the opportunity to learn about the diversity of normal female
genitalia and make visual comparisons, in a safe and private way. The site also contains information about anatomy, female genital cosmetic surgery, hair removal, media literacy and pornography.

In order to gain an understanding of the effectiveness of the resource in improving
women’s health literacy, a survey with a free text option was promoted on the Labia
Library home page from September 2013 to July 2015

Overall, the vast majority of survey respondents indicated a positive perception
of the resource, often experiencing a significant reduction in anxiety and
reassurance of normality associated with genital appearance.

 

Gonorrhoea: Drug Resistance in Australia

Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), 26 June 2018

There has long been concern globally about the potential emergence of drug resistant STIs. In response, the World Health Organisation released new treatment guidelines for three common STIs – chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis – in 2016.

At present, strains resistant to first line treatment of syphilis and chlamydia are not common and not a concern in Australia. There is, however, a growing level of concern about gonorrhoea. This paper therefore focuses on the likelihood and implications of the emergence of drug resistant cases of gonorrhoea in Australia. It also highlights treatment options in Australia and current and emerging strategies for preventing drug resistant gonorrhoea.

Download paper: AFAO Brief – Gonorrhoea – Drug Resistance in Australia – 26 June 2018

First criminal prosecution of female genital mutilation in Queensland goes to trial today

ABC News, 21/05/18

The first couple to be prosecuted on female genital mutilation charges in Queensland have pleaded not guilty to allegedly taking two girls aged nine and 12 to Africa to undergo the procedure.

The African man and woman—who cannot be named for legal reasons—were charged in 2015 on two counts each of removing a child from the state for female genital mutilation.

Their case is being heard today at a Beenleigh sitting of the District Court.

Can you get gonorrhoea from kissing?

ABC Radio (Hack), 8th November 2017

In a troubling development, Melbourne researchers suspect gonorrhoea is being spread by kissing, overturning years of conventional wisdom.

Although it’s early days and not cause for alarm, there is evidence to suggest ‘throat-to-throat transmission’ may be driving the spread of gonorrhea in inner-city Australia.

It’s been generally understood you could only get gonorrhea by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea. Dr Vincent J Cornelisse, a sexual health physician and PhD candidate at Monash University, has been conducting research that challenges this idea.

Professor Basil Donovan, head of the Sexual Health Program at the Kirby Institute, told Hack the finding was “highly tenuous”. “You’ll need a lot more science before you put out a warning,” he said.

 

New booklet: Vulva & vaginal irritation

Jean Hailes, Last updated 05 May 2017

Jean Hailes has just released a new patient information booklet: The vulva: irritation, diagnosis & treatment. 

Contents:

  • What is normal?
  • Causes of vulva irritation
  • Management & treatment
  • Dryness
  • ‘Good bacteria’ versus ‘bad bacteria’ in the vagina
  • Other natural therapies
  • Irritation
  • Diagnosis
  • Secretions or discharge
  • Odour
  • Probiotics
  • What is the vulva?

Download booklet (PDF) here