Update on COVID-19 for PLHIV

SAMESH, March 19, 2020

SAMESH, SHINE SA, and Thorne Harbour Health are encouraging people living with HIV (PLHIV) to take additional precautions in the face of the changing landscape around 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

We want to ensure the ongoing health and wellbeing of all PLHIV who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. This means minimising the risk of exposure to the virus.

While everyone is at risk of contracting COVID-19, the consequences of infection are more severe for some vulnerable groups. This includes PLHIV who are:

  • Aged over 60 years old
  • Living with a detectable viral load or a CD4 count below 500
  • Diabetic
  • Smokers
  • Living with hepatitis B or C
  • Living with a comorbidity such as heart or lung issues

Those PLHIV on treatment with an undetectable viral load (and no other significant health condition) are at no greater risk of serious health consequences due to COVID-19 than the general population. That being said, they should still take the advice of the health department in exercising precautions such as handwashing, working from home where possible, limiting time on public transport, and avoiding large groups or crowded areas.

Those PLHIV who fall into one of the vulnerable groups listed above should limit contact with others to avoid potential exposure to COVID-19.

If you are living with HIV and are concerned you might be at risk, you should:

  • Maintain regularly scheduled medical appointments, but consider asking your doctor about telehealth consultations
  • Ensure you have between 1-3 month supply of any medications you currently take
  • Avoid stockpiling medications beyond a 1-3 month supply as this could cause unnecessary shortages
  • Be wary of advice or articles in social media — do not modify the medications you currently take without first consulting your doctor
  • Contact your doctor about getting vaccinations for influenza and pneumococcal when available
  • Keep in touch with friends, colleagues, and family via phone calls and video chat — consider scheduling regular catch ups
  • Stay in touch – our organisations will continue to release more information and resources as the situation continues to evolve

This public health issue can be stressful, but our communities have a long history of staying informed and collective action to ensure we look after our health as well as the wellbeing of those around us. Let’s keep this legacy going as we look after ourselves and those around us

Factsheet on the new The Marriage Law Survey (Additional Safeguards) Bill 2017

The Equality Campaign, 18/09/2017

The Marriage Law Survey (Additional Safeguards) Bill 2017 was introduced into parliament (and passed) at the end of last week. Included as a part of the bill was a series of temporary measures to protect people from vilification, harassment or threats of harm during the current postal survey campaign.

Also included as a part of the bill is a series of requirements in relation to campaign materials (including any form of external communication) and advertising, that are papplicable to any individual or organisation during the postal survey campaign period.

Measures and requirements that have been introduced into the bill are only applicable until the date in which the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to announce the results of the Marriage Law Postal Survey, on 15 November 2017.

The attached fact sheet has been prepared by the Equality Campaign to assist stakeholders with activities for the upcoming campaign period. Included are the responsibilities and considerations that organisations need to review prior to distributing any material or communicating in any form that has the intent of encouraging participation in the Marriage Law Postal Survey or encouraging a vote one way or the other. The fact sheet contains essential information and new requirements that are applicable for the next eight weeks. Please note that these provisions took effect from Thursday 14 September 2017.

‘Revenge porn’: one in five report they have been victims in Australian survey

Guardian, Monday 8 May 2017

The first comprehensive research on so-called revenge porn has shed light on the “mass scale of victimisation” across Australia and its sometimes devastating impact.

A survey of nearly 4,300 people led by RMIT University and Monash University revealed that 20% of respondents had had images or videos of a nude or sexual nature taken without their consent; 11% had had them share, and 9% had received threats that images of themselves would be shared.

Men and women were equally likely to be victims but the rate was higher among younger people: one in three teenagers aged 16 to 19 and one in four aged 20 to 29 reported at least one form of image victimisation. Marginalised groups – Indigenous and gay, lesbian and bisexual Australians, and those with a disability – were especially vulnerable.

 

Stepping Stones: Legal barriers to economic equality after family violence

Women’s Legal Service Victoria, Melbourne , 2015

From Executive Summary:

Legal and economic problems arise from family violence which result in serious financial hardship for women and, at present, there are no accessible legal remedies to these problems.

We have researched the problems in the Stepping Stones project. This report contains the findings of the project and recommendations for solutions.
In interviews with women, we explored the consequences of family violence on women’s financial circumstances. We specifically directed our attention to systemic barriers women faced in their economic recovery.”

Download report (PDF) here