WA AIDS Council left in limbo by Department of Health
After an extensive tender process to secure a funding agreement through the Department of Health, the WA AIDS Council has been left in limbo after a recent decision by the Department to not award the available funding of the tender.
In a surprise decision, the Department has announced only a 12 month extension on the current funding agreement with WA AIDS Council which was seeking to secure funding for the next 3 - 5 years.
“As the leading HIV organization in WA and with our proven history of innovative and in-demand services, it’s incredibly disappointing to find ourselves in this position of uncertainty.
“Whilst we are grateful to receive any funding, now with only 12 months secured this affects our ability to make timely long term business decisions and future planning and also steers resources away from other important work whilst we navigate this renegotiation” stated CEO David Kernohan.
One such program affected is the ‘M Clinic’ which needs to be relocated within the next 10 months to enable it to meet growing demand. The clinic provides sexual health testing for gay, bi, MSM and trans men and is the leading service in this area.
“We are highly concerned that this decision by the Department will affect important growth needed to meet demand and most importantly in reducing numbers of HIV and STI’s in the community” said Mr Kernohan.
“It’s not only disappointing but also a very frustrating position to find ourselves in when the organisation has recently implemented changes to ensure the sustainability of the organisation to now find that future plans we were aiming towards now potentially need to be put on hold for the next 12 months.
“I do want to reassure the community who rely on our services that we will continue to provide the high level of quality support expected of us during this phase and that existing services will not suffer as a result of this decision.
“With the Commonwealth Government’s recent release of the National HIV Strategy and with WA about to release the State HIV Strategy it’s difficult to understand why, as the leading HIV organisation in WA we have not been given the certainty needed to support these strategies” said Mr Kernohan.
The WAAC remains committed to working closely with the Department of Health over the next 12 months so the HIV response in Western Australia will continue to be effective and sustainable as we work towards ending HIV in WA.
Media contact: Maree Daniels, Shine Communications, 0402 211 596 or email@example.com
Have you used any of the services at the WA AIDS Council? If so, we would like to hear from you.
The WA AIDS Council is working towards accreditation on Health and Community Services Standards.
Provided by QIP, part of this accreditation process is an on-site visit by QIP assessors where they interview the CEO, Management, staff and volunteers of the organisation.
They would also like to hear from you, our clients and service users! We would really appreciate your time in participating in this process.
When: Monday, 8th & Tuesday, 9th July 2019
Where: 664 Murray St, West Perth
How: Face-to-face OR Telephone
Duration: 15 minutes
If you would like to participate, please call us at 08 9482 0000 and leave your first name and contact number.
We will get in touch with you to organise a convenient time for you. It is a casual and informal interview, and you may wish to remain anonymous.
Thanks from the team @ WAAC.
There is a relationship between stigma and HIV: People living with HIV are more vulnerable to experiencing discrimination, and those who are misinformed about HIV are likely to create and uphold stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.
As of 2015, findings from The People Living with HIV Stigma Index indicates that roughly one in every eight people living with HIV is being denied health services because of stigma and discrimination. That’s why knowing the facts about HIV is in the best interests of public health – it is key to eradicating stigma and discrimination.
There are a lot of myths around how HIV can be transmitted, but only a few ways you can get it. There are also a number of things you can do to prevent yourself from getting infected.
Myth – Straight people do not get HIV
Did you know that most people living with HIV worldwide are heterosexual? Men transmit HIV to women and women transmit it to men. Risk is not about whether you identify as either straight or LGBTIQ+ it is about what you do.
Myth – I am over 50, people of my generation don’t get HIV
Often older adults ignore discussions about HIV prevention and care and so are not aware they are at risk.
Myth – HIV is a death sentence
While a positive HIV diagnosis is not to be taken lightly, many people who have HIV can live long and healthy lives thanks to improved drug treatments. If you remain on your treatment regime and take care of yourself you can live a normal life.
Myth – You can get HIV from being near someone who has HIV
The only way you can be infected is through bodily fluids which are infected with HIV entering your body, for example:
- Vaginal fluid
- Menstrual fluid
- Breast milk
So how do I take care?
Never share needles – If taking drugs, NEVER share injecting equipment.
Practice safe sex – If you are engaging in unprotected penetrative sex, PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is a medication that, when taken daily is highly effective at preventing a person acquiring HIV. PrEP is subsidised by the Australian Government through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Talk to your GP about accessing PrEP.
Stay informed, practice safe sex, get tested
Aside from staying informed and abstaining from sex, the only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested.
Want more information?
Our confidential hotline 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday: (08) 9482 0044
Reception 9482 0000 to make an appointment with our Peer Educator or Counsellors for further information and support.
To celebrate Men's Health Week and the launch of the WA Men's Health and Wellbeing Policy, the WA AIDS Council is hosting a FREE brunch for men with diverse sexualities, intersex men and men with transgender experience.
Brunch is a wonderful occasion; delicious breakfast-style food without having to get up early to enjoy it. It is a chance to spend time with friends, meet new people and socialise.
We have a line up of really great speakers, who will be talking about their experiences with health and the health system. You will also have a chance to take a look through the new policy. Western Australian men continue to face poorer outcomes than women on many measures of health and wellbeing. Men experience higher mortality rates, lower life expectancy, lower mental health outcomes and higher rates of suicide. Men who are diverse in their sex, sexuality or gender have further health disparities, and often encounter difficulties accessing appropriate and affirming health services. It is important to reflect on these experiences and explore what needs to improve without dwelling on the negative.
We want to use Men's Health Week and the launch of the new policy as an opportunity to bring together men from all different walks of life. We want to celebrate the diversity of experiences, connect and learn from each other, as well as take the chance to talk about what is needed to improve men's health, all with some delicious food and good coffee.
Spaces are limited so click here to register now before we fill up.
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Invitation to be a guest on a new podcast series
The Centre for Social Research in Health (CSRH) is producing a series of podcasts, in partnership with ACON, Thorne Harbour Health, South Australia Mobilisation + Empowerment for Sexual Health (SAMESH) and the Western Australian AIDS Council (WAAC), exploring crystal methamphetamine use among gay and bisexual men with the aim of distilling information and promoting a conversation about this issue.
You are invited to be a part of this new podcast series – to speak about your personal and professional experiences around three key areas:
1. Some of the innovative strategies men collectively use to manage their crystal use;
2. The support needs of those people who support others using crystal; and
3. Workforce development at the intersection of health promotion and harm reduction.
These podcasts will be produced as part of the Crystal, Pleasures and Sex between Men, a NHMRC-funded and WA Health-funded project. This project looked at gay and bisexual men’s crystal methamphetamine use across four cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth – with the aim of improving our understanding about how gay and bisexual men experience crystal, especially in relation to sex, and how services can better meet their needs.
Podcasts provide a multi-platform opportunity to disseminate health promotion and harm reduction strategies through conveying personal stories that privilege people’s experiential knowledge. This is a unique opportunity to share our research findings in a relevant and accessible way.
If you are interested in participating, some important things to note:
Participating is by way of a loosely-scripted ‘conversation-style’ between the host and yourself, to take place in our recording studio (or, if not possible, we may conduct this via audio-visual software).
While we are interested in your particular interests, for the purposes of producing a coherent and cohesive final product, you may be directed or prompted over parts of your responses, or to re-record any aspects over the course of the session.
You will have an opportunity during the recording session(s) to re-record or omit any responses given to questions that you aren’t comfortable with (e.g. identifying information, etc). You can also contact us to retract any responses or ask for an omission of particular information recorded within seven days of the recording session.
Conversation will be based around an anonymised excerpt from our data from each of the three aforementioned themes that will be pre-recorded by a voice actor. You will be provided with a copy of the data excerpt(s) prior to recording and some initial thought-starter questions to help you prepare ahead of the recording.
You will be required to sign an agreement that CSRH can use your audio recorded conversation between yourself and the host.
Material from these podcasts may also serve as the basis for resource and information guides.
The audio recording of your voice will be used in the final edit of the podcast. You may use a pseudonym, if you wish, but there is a possibility that you may be identified via your voice.
A speaker’s fee will be offered to community members.
If you have any questions, please contact Dr Kerryn Drysdale, from the Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW Sydney on (02) 9385 6412 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The WA AIDS Council (WAAC) has been considering how to engage with and draw on the expertise of the various client groups to whom the organisation provides services. This is in line with the principles of MIPA and co-creation of service delivery.
As a start WAAC acknowledges and supports the principle that clients who are providing knowledge and information to the organisations in certain situations should be re-imbursed for out of pocket expenses and for their time.
WAAC has developed a draft policy to reflect this and would like to make it available for public comment. If you would like to receive and comment on the draft policy please email email@example.com
HIV Emergency Fund & Phyllis Hill Bequest Fund
WAAC wishes to advise that due to increased demand both the HIV Emergency Relief fund and the Phyllis Hill Bequest Fund’s are no longer available. All funds allocated to these have been used to provide support and assistance.
We would like to acknowledge and thank LotteryWest and MAC Cosmetics for their contribution in allocating funding for the HIV Emergency Relief Fund to date.
The Phyllis Hill Bequest was received in September 2006 from the estate of Phyllis Hill. Funds from this bequest met charitable purposes and were used to fund the advancement of health, education and/or the alleviation of poverty for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) or otherwise vulnerable to being infected with HIV.
We would like to thank family members of Phyllis Hill and acknowledge the great benefit this bequest has brought to many community members
WAAC will be working towards securing additional funding next financial year for the HIV Emergency Relief Fund through LotteryWest.
In the course of securing any new funding, WAAC will ensure all future applications for funding once approved are acquitted in a sustainable way. This will enable funds to be maximised throughout the course of the year.
The Team @ WAAC
Participate in one of our focus groups
We are excited to invite you to share your opinions surrounding the brand of the WA AIDS Council.
These focus groups will be an essential part of the process to evolve the WAAC branding. Therefore, it is vital to have meaningful engagement from the communities that we serve.
We will be facilitating 4 focus groups to provide you with an opportunity to share your perceptions of the existing brand, and play an important part in determining how the WAAC brand will evolve into the future.
From the team at WAAC.
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