Melbourne’s first safe injecting room, clean, sterile and ‘will save lives’

ABC News, 29.6.18

Up to 300 people a day are expected to use Victoria’s first medically supervised drug injecting room when it opens in the coming days.

The Victorian Government committed to a two-year trial at the North Richmond Community Health Centre, after three separate coroners called for a supervised space.

Mental Health Minister Martin Foley said it would save lives.

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.

Gonorrhoea and syphilis on the rise among among heterosexual men and women in Melbourne

ABC News, 16th January 2018

Melbourne is facing a rapid increase in cases of the sexually transmitted diseases syphilis and gonorrhoea.

Data from the Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic shows the number of gonorrhoea infections has increased 30 per cent annually since 2015.

HIV and hepatitis pre and post test discussion in Victoria: consultation report

Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Nov 2017

In February 2017, the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University initiated a consultation which aimed to describe best practice in HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C pre and post test discussion in the Victorian context.

Building on existing evidence, and guided by the National Testing Policies, the purpose of this consultation was to better understand the components of a quality testing encounter in the era of elimination, with particular emphasis on the non-medical needs of people around the time of testing and diagnosis.

The focus of this consultation was to identify best practice in pre and post test discussion for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. A range of health and community providers and researchers discussed the fundamentals of best practice at length, and provided a great many insights into the components of quality testing services.
Importantly, most participants acknowledged that while best practice is a valuable notion, it is not attainable in all health care settings. Best practice, therefore, needs to be flexible enough to be able to fit into any setting where HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C testing may occur.

 

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.

 

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.