Thorne Harbour Health calls for community to stop having casual sex during COVID-19

Thorne Harbour Health – media release, 26 March 2020

For the first time in its four-decade history, Thorne Harbour Health is calling on communities to stop having casual sex in the face of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Thorne Harbour Health, formerly the Victorian AIDS Council, is calling on LGBTI communities and people living with HIV to limit their risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Thorne Harbour Health CEO Simon Ruth said, “We’re faced by an unprecedented global health crisis. While COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection, the close personal contact we have when during sex poses a serious risk of COVID-19 transmission. We need people to stop having casual sex at this stage.”

“But after four decades of sexual health promotion, we know abstinence isn’t a realistic strategy for most people. We need to look at ways we can minimise risk while maintain a healthy sex life.”

Last week, the organisation released an info sheet with strategies to minimise the risk of COVID-19 while having sex. Strategies included utilising sex tech, solo sexuality, and limiting your sexual activity to an exclusive sexual partner, commonly known as a ‘f*ck buddy’.

“You can reduce your risk by making your sexual network smaller. If you have a regular sexual partner, have a conversation about the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Provided both of you are limiting your risk by working from home and exercising physical distancing from others, you can greatly reduce you chance of COVID-19 transmission,” said Simon Ruth.

The organisation’s stance is not dissimilar from advice from the UK government. Earlier this week, chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries advised couples not cohabitating to consider testing their relationship by moving in together during the country’s lockdown.

Thorne Harbour Health CEO Simon Ruth released a video message today addressing sex & COVID-19 following last week’s message about physical distancing.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), HIV & hepatitis C: What you need to know

CATIE (Canada), 17 March 2020

  • An HIV-positive person on effective treatment is not expected to be at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19
  • A person with untreated HIV or a low CD4+ cell count may be at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19
  • People with HIV or hepatitis C are more likely to have other conditions that carry a greater risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19

 

 

Call for allies to step up with LGBTQ distress ‘worse than after postal survey’

Sydney Morning Herald, February 23, 2020

Four out of five LGBTQ+ people say they feel worse now than they did after the “yes” vote on same-sex marriage, describing the debate over religious discrimination as “Marriage Equality 2.0” because it is amplifying negative voices.

The findings are from the Make Love Louder report by Macquarie University researcher Shirleene Robinson.

It found three out of four LGBTQ+ Australians have personally experienced negativity or discrimination on the basis of their sexual or gender identity and one in four experience it on a daily basis. For transgender Australians, four out of five have experienced it, two out of five on a daily basis.

The research suggests 63 per cent of Australians support the LGBTQ+ community, but three out of four of these, dubbed allies, are “silent supporters”. Dr Robinson said it was important for allies to be vocal to “make love louder than hate”.

Meanwhile, separate research by mental health charity Headspace found most LGBTQ+ young people experience high or very high psychological distress.

 

 

Towards a Safe Place: Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence in LGBTIQA+ Communities (resource)

Catalyst Foundation, 2019

The Towards a Safe Place project has created resources for LGBTIQA+ communities to use both as individuals or in communities to support and inform at risk individuals of available services and supports in relation to Domestic Violence and to increase awareness and understanding of Domestic Violence and its impact within LGBTIQA+ communities.

We have worked closely with LGBTIQA+ communities to develop these resources and are thankful for the help and support of our Reference Group comprising individuals, community organisations and service providers who have helped us in the development of these resources.

We hope the resources are used to inform and support at risk individuals and the wider community on LGBTIQA+ specific Domestic Violence and that service providers use the resources to continually develop and improve service responses and avenues for reporting domestic violence.

Training in culturally appropriate LGBTIQA+ domestic violence service delivery and response strategies is available and has been developed in partnership with Uniting Communities Adelaide’s Bfriend Project and a local LGBTIQA+ social group Pride of the South. If your organisation would like information on the training please contact us on (08) 81688700 or by email 

The project was supported by South Australian Government Attorney-General’s  Department, Bfriend (Uniting Communities) and Pride of the South.

Resources to download:

 

Sexual Diversity in Aboriginal Sexual Health (video)

Young Deadly Free, September 2019

Experiences and tips for health workers when working in sexual health with the LGBTIQ community.

This video goes for 10 minutes & 50 seconds.

Learn more at http://youngdeadlyfree.org.au/ or https://www.facebook.com/youngdeadlyfree/

  • Watch video embedded below or on YouTube here

Imagining HIV In 2030

Imagining HIV In 2030: Exploring Possible Futures And Charting A Path Forward

ACON, 21/08/2019

What does HIV look like in 2030? How do we make sure people living with HIV age healthily and well? What needs to be done so that everyone benefits equally from NSW’s leading HIV response? These are some of the issues explored in a new discussion paper developed by ACON.

Imagining HIV in 2030 speculates about possible futures over the next decade, examining how current trends and future developments will impact the HIV landscape in NSW. In doing so, it delves into what needs to be done to ensure community, sector and government responses to HIV prevention, treatment and support in NSW remain on course.