Decriminalisation of sex work in south Australia (SHINE SA Media Release)

SHINE SA,  

On 31 May 2019, the Sex Industry Network (SIN) will gather at Parliament House to rally for the decriminalisation of the South Australian sex industry and to recognise International Sex Workers Day.

In South Australia sex work is criminalised, prohibiting sex work so that those engaging in relevant activities can be prosecuted for criminal offences. SIN and Scarlet Alliance (Australian Sex Workers Association) advocate for decriminalisation which is seen as a best practice model by sex workers and community-based organisations.

In a recent statement SIN said:

“Sex work is skilled labour. We deserve the same industrial protections as any other worker in South Australia and, currently, what sets us apart is the criminalisation of the industry within which we CHOOSE to work.”

Natasha Miliotis, Chief Executive of SHINE SA said:

“We support the work of SIN and their advocacy for the decriminalisation of sex work in SA.

Amnesty International, the United Nations and the World Health Organization have all called for the full decriminalisation of consensual sex work as the scientific evidence is now clear – criminalisation itself leads to harm¹.

From a public health perspective decriminalisation is important to not only reduce stigma and discrimination, but to improve the health and safety of workers, clients and the broader community².”

For more information on SIN’s celebration of International Sex Workers Day and the rally for the decriminalisation of the South Australian sex industry visit www.sin.org.au.

For further information contact Tracey Hutt, Director Workforce Education and Development via email  or via telephone on 0434 937 036

 

 

¹ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30532209

² https://theconversation.com/new-report-shows-compelling-reasons-to-decriminalise-sex-work-83955

Transgender Visibility Matters in the Workplace (SHINE SA media release)

SHINE SA, 27th March 2019

SHINE SA Media Release

International Transgender Day of Visibility on 31 March is a day we acknowledge each year to celebrate transgender and gender diverse people around the globe, their courage and accomplishments.

The term ‘transgender’ refers to a person whose gender identity or expression is different from their assigned sex. Trans people experience significant harassment, discrimination and violence and may also face difficulties gaining employment.

It is important that organisations and individuals take steps to encourage inclusivity and diversity. Research by the Diversity Council Australia found that LGBTIQA+ employees in organisations that were highly LGBTIQA+ inclusive were twice as likely as employees in non-inclusive cultures to innovate, and 28% more likely to provide excellent customer/client service.

SHINE SA was the first organisation in SA to achieve Rainbow Tick Accreditation, which ensures all systems and processes are in place for an inclusive culture and operation.

Natasha Miliotis SHINE SA’s Chief Executive said:

“We were surprised at how much our whole organisation developed from Rainbow Tick Accreditation. Improving our capacity to be inclusive and to support diversity benefited everyone – staff, clients, stakeholders and our organisational culture as a whole. It’s made us more flexible, more able to respond to the needs of others. It has also made us better at designing and delivering services to support Trans people: whether that’s STI testing, contraception advice, cervical screening, counselling support or providing inclusive education to doctors, nurses and teachers or providing information to the community.”

Zac Cannell, SHINE SA Sexual Health Counsellor, and Co-Founder and Co-Facilitator of TransMascSA writes:

“I self-identify as a transgender man. My lived experience of gender diversity is an important factor to me in my profession, my community advocacy, as well as my social connectivity. I knew when I transitioned that there were many hurdles ahead of me, one of which was employment. As a visible transgender person I sadly knew my options for employment would be limited, and I knew I faced potential discrimination. My colleagues, and the SHINE SA management team, don’t just talk about inclusivity, they live it and champion it. This has gone a long way to helping build my resilience and confidence as an individual, as a professional, and as a SHINE SA team member. It also shows the community the value of leadership in facilitating visible diversity and the positive impact it has.”

SHINE SA offers a Gender Wellbeing Service which is a free counselling and peer support service for people who are questioning their gender or who identify as Trans or Gender Diverse in the Metropolitan Adelaide area. For more information click here. 

SHINE SA also offers education opportunities for individuals and organisations that want to encourage and support diversity. For more information on SHINE SA’s workforce development click here. 

To learn more about why inclusion and diversity matters watch this clip.

For further information contact Tracey Hutt, Director Workforce Education and Development on tracey.hutt@shinesa.org.au or 0434 937 036.

Why National Condom Day might be more important than Valentine’s Day: media release

SHINE SA Media Release, 13 February 2019

National Condom Day is 14 February, a day to promote healthy sexual relationships and encourage the use of condoms. Condoms are not only a form of contraception but are also able to protect against STIs. With national rates of STIs rising it’s important that people understand the benefits of condoms.

The benefits of condoms include reducing the risk of unplanned pregnancy and reducing the risk of STIs. They are also available without prescription and are easy to obtain.

Natasha Miliotis SHINE SA’s Chief Executive said:

“Valentine’s Day is also National Condom Day – which reminds us that around one in five young people have chlamydia, but up to 75% will have no symptoms.  Condoms and regular testing protect you and your sexual partner against STIs. We encourage all young people to use condoms as well as get regular sexual health checks from a GP or at our SHINE SA clinics.”

SHINE SA has free condoms at our clinic reception desks and offer free sexual health checks for people under 30.

World Medical Association updates advice on medically indicated termination of pregnancy

Australian Medical Association, October 21, 2018

Revised advice to physicians on medically indicated termination of pregnancy has been issued by the World Medical Association.

At its recent annual General Assembly in Reykjavik, the WMA reiterated that where the law allows medically indicated termination of pregnancy to be performed, the procedure should be carried out by a competent physician.

However, it agreed that in extreme cases it could be performed by another qualified health care worker. An extreme case would be a situation where only an abortion would save the life of the mother and no physician was available, as might occur in many parts of the world. This amends previous WMA advice from 2006 that only physicians should undertake such procedures.

New study suggests risk of birth defects in babies born to women on HIV medicine dolutegravir

European Medicines Agency, 18/05/2018

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is evaluating preliminary results from a study which found 4 cases of birth defects such as spina bifida (malformed spinal cord) in babies born to mothers who became pregnant while taking dolutegravir. While EMA is assessing the new evidence it has issued the following precautionary advice:

  • Dolutegravir HIV medicines should not be prescribed to women seeking to become pregnant.
  • Women who can become pregnant should use effective contraception while taking dolutegravir medicines.

The study, which looked at babies born to 11,558 HIV-infected women in Botswana, showed that 0.9% of babies (4 of 426) whose mothers became pregnant while taking dolutegravir had a neural tube defect, compared with 0.1% of babies (14 of 11,173) whose mothers took other HIV medicines. Final results are expected in about a year.

Women who have been prescribed dolutegravir should not stop taking their medicine without first consulting their doctor.

EMA will update the recommendations as necessary when it concludes its assessment.

Two cases of multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea recently detected in Australia: media release

Professor Brendan Murphy, Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Australian Government Department of Health 

17 April 2018

Two cases of multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea have been recently detected in Australia. One case was diagnosed in Western Australia and a second case diagnosed in Queensland. 

Multi-drug resistant strains can be difficult to treat and it is important to prevent further spread.

Evidence suggests that one of the Australian cases acquired their infection in Southeast Asia.

The situation is being closely monitored by public health authorities.