Police, families not told of sexual assault reports by mental health patients [Report]

The Age, 29 March 2018

Sexual assault claims made by mental health patients are not being reported to police or even the alleged victims’ families in most cases, a scathing report has revealed.

Families are told of allegations in only a quarter of cases, while police reports are made only 40 per cent of the time, leaving alleged victims at risk of further abuse.

HIV PrEP available on PBS in Australia from 1 April / Links to Clinical Resources

Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM), 21 March 2018

ASHM congratulates the Federal Health Minister, the Hon. Greg Hunt’s announcement of a landmark in HIV prevention to approve HIV-prevention drugs – tenofovir with emtricitabine, known as PrEP – on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from 1 April, thereby providing broader access for any doctor or general practitioner to be able prescribe PrEP to an Australian resident who holds a current Medicare card.

“The public health benefits are clear, undeniable and transformative benefiting individuals at medium- to high-risk of HIV infection and towards driving a substantial reduction in HIV transmissions in Australia,” said ASHM President, Associate Professor Bloch.

Access Links to Clinical Resources supporting the HIV workforce

  • The definitions of risk for HIV, guidelines and procedures for the appropriate administration and monitoring of PrEP can be found here: ASHM HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis: clinical guidelines
  • The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) and ASHM have produced a PrEP Fact Sheet to assist PrEP users and people with an interest in using PrEP to understand what subsidised access to PrEP through the PBS means. Access the factsheet here
  • ASHM continues to support the workforce to ensure access to PrEP and best practice in guidelines, training and resources. Access information here
  • The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has a range of training to support pharmacists in preparing for PrEP on the PBS: www.psa.org.au

 

Healthcare workers living with HIV have different motivations for disclosing/concealing their status

nam/aidsmap, 10 November 2017

Nurses and other healthcare workers who are living with HIV have mixed reactions when they mention their HIV status to colleagues, according to a small Dutch study reported in the November/December issue of the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. 

Some healthcare workers disclosed because they expected a positive reaction or they felt the need to share a secret. Others concealed their HIV status because they feared a negative reaction or did not believe that disclosure was relevant or necessary.

LGBTQ Homelessness Research Project: Final Report

University of Melbourne / Swinburne University of Technology, September 2017

Whilst there is mounting evidence that the risk of and potential consequences of homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer or questioning (LGBTIQ) people are heightened compared to the general population, there has been limited systematic research in Australia to inform a more targeted response.

Australia lags behind similarly advanced democracies in developing research, policy and best practice in the area of LGBTIQ homelessness. Major gaps in Australia include research on older LGBTIQ adults’ experiences of homelessness, longitudinal studies, comparisons between sub-groups, comparisons between rural/regional and urban areas, and the development of best practice guidelines.

This report documents a mixed methods research study, the aims of which were to:

  • Identify major contributors and pathways into and out of homelessness for LGBTIQ people;
  • Investigate their experiences of current homelessness service provision;
  • Examine current practice (including data collection) and best practice to ensure homelessness services are LGBTIQ inclusive; and
  • Make the project findings available to influence homelessness and mental health policy initiatives, services, and training on specific issues for LGBTIQ people.

In this study, we conceptualise that LGBTIQ inequalities in homelessness largely emerge from the structural stigma of community norms and institutional policies that embed heteronormative and homophobic, biphobic or transphobic prejudices in everyday practice.  We also regard silence on LGBTIQ populations in policies to be a
form of structural stigma.

 

How ethical is sexual assault research?

The Conversation, published April 6, 2017 1.17pm AEST

Thirty-nine Australian universities will now individually release the findings of a national research project on sexual assault and harassment on campus. This case has raised some substantial questions about what constitutes “ethical” research on sexual assault.

Why does it matter if research is ethical or not? And what steps could or should have been taken to ensure that issues such as those the Australian Human Rights Commission now faces are avoided?

 

HIV Conference slams spitting laws in SA, WA & NT

Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM)

 Adelaide: Friday, 18 November 2016

Delegates at Australia’s national HIV/AIDS conference have condemned the governments of South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory over laws that force people accused of criminal offences to undergo mandatory HIV and blood-borne virus testing.

The conference passed a resolution this afternoon expressing its ‘profound disappointment’ in the laws, which make it mandatory for people to undergo blood tests if they are accused of spitting on or biting law enforcement personnel. The laws were passed in South Australia and Western Australia in 2014, and in the Northern Territory in 2016.

Read more here