By Lisa Tomney, Clinical Services Manager
Reflecting on the latter half of last year, I can say it was a very busy period for Clinical Services. Not only was support and advocacy provided on a one-on-one basis for people living with HIV (PLHIV), but a diverse range of workshops and networking events were carried out during this time.
Across ten events and activities held, attendance reached over 220. The annual Christmas community BBQ at Loton Park Tennis Club proved to be the most popular event on the calendar followed by the number of bookings for our Living Well Complementary Therapies Program which offers clients massage, Acupuncture, Reiki and Reflexology. Find out more about this Program here.
The annual Treatments Forum gathered a strong crowd focussing on Treatment as Prevention (TasP) and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), as did the August Mini Series. Held over four weeks, this series covers a range of topics for PLHIV to discuss, debate and share information.
From workshops and events held within the WA AIDS Councils walls, we headed to the natural surroundings of Perth Zoo for a family day outing. Quality time was spent with family members, and of course with creatures’ great and small including a lunch in the beautiful outdoors. An exclusive Make Up and pamper session for PLHIV titled ‘Good Spirits Day’, held by MAC Cosmetics annually on World AIDS Day experienced the highest attendance on record.
Other events held included the ‘Str8 Up’ dinner, a networking event for heterosexual PLHIV; ‘Planet Positive’ a social networking space for sharing experiences and mutual support for Gay men and Men who have Sex with Men (MSM); a ‘Dating & Disclosure’ workshop explored disclosing HIV status to family, friends and sexual partners; and ‘Beyond Positive’ explore a range of topics for HIV positive Gay and MSM.
During this period, over 230 face-to-face appointments regarding advocacy and support were provided by our team of seven. Appointments varied with support for people who had been newly diagnosed with HIV; housing; hospital and clinical appointments; mental health; and drug and alcohol dependency. There were 46 occasions of access to financial support via the ‘HIV Assistance Fund’, and distribution of 70 food hampers.
We have hit the ground running this year, with the completion of the March Mini Series, ongoing booking requests for the Living Well Complementary Therapies Program and the recent commencement of the Beyond Positive workshop series with more participants involved than the previous. So far, so good!
This article was featured in April's eNewsletter.
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About WA AIDS Council Clinical Services
The Clinical Services team provides a range of health enhancement programs for people living with HIV. Practical and emotional support are offered via counselling, peer support, workshops, social networking activities, forums and complementary therapies. Clinical Services are sensitive and responsive to the needs of a broad range of communities, including diverse backgrounds and sexualities.
For more information about upcoming events, workshops and actitivies for PLHIV contact Alli Paterson via email firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone 9482 0000.
Case Managers and SHAPE Officers provide practical, physical and emotional care and support for people living with HIV, their families, carers and partners.
Case management activities are diverse. In addition to assisting clients to access and maintain specific services, case management activities may include negotiation and advocacy for services, consultation with providers, navigation through the service system, psycho-social support, supportive counselling, and general client information and education.
The goal of case management is to promote and support independence and self-sufficiency. As such, the case management process requires the consent and active participation of the client in decision-making, and supports a client's right to privacy, confidentiality, self-determination, dignity and respect, compassionate non-judgmental care, culturally competency, and quality case management services.
For families caring for HIV infected or affected children, an additional goal of case management is to maintain and enhance the effective functioning of the family in their care-giving role, and to ensure appropriate referral to relevant service providers.
The intended outcomes of case management for PLHIV include:
• Early access to and maintenance of comprehensive health care and social services.
• Improved integration of services provided across a variety of settings.
• Enhanced continuity of care.
• Prevention of disease transmission and delay of HIV progression.
• Increased knowledge of HIV disease.
• Greater participation in and optimal use of the health and social service system.
• Reinforcement of positive health behaviours.
• Personal empowerment.
• Breaking down of any social isolation or diminished capacity to participate in community.
• An improved quality of life.
To enquire about our services, please call Manager Clinical Services, Lisa Tomney, on 9482 0000 or email email@example.com
For information on accessing services in rural and remote areas, please click here.