Matt Ranford

Matt Ranford

Tuesday, 05 July 2016 05:49

Membership

Let your voice be heard!

Membership of the WA AIDS Council gives you the opportunity to shape the future of the organisation.

Membership gives you voting rights and the knowledge that you are contributing to the HIV response in WA.

To join, simply download, print, complete and return the following form.

Membership Form

Please return this form to the WA AIDS Council, Reply Paid 1510, West Perth, WA 6872 or fax to 08-9482 0001. A receipt will be issued and mailed. 

Please note: Where applicants are applying for a new membership and are unable to obtain a proposer and seconder, the applicant is required to provide a brief statement outlining the reasons for wanting to be admitted as a member. The Board will consider the reasons and the application may be proposed and seconded by Board members when membership status is considered at the next Board meeting.

WA AIDS PrEPVideo Banner


Most HIV transmissions occur among gay men and other men who have sex with men in Australia. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is expected to make a substantial difference to the epidemic and is another strategy that can be employed to reduce risk of HIV infection.

So what is PrEP and how effective is it?

PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a type of medication called Truvada that is already used in Australia to treat HIV. Truvada has been shown to be extremely effective as PrEP at reducing HIV transmission among men who have sex with men.

It is TGA approved?

Recently, the decision was made by the Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee (PBAC) to not recommend the funding of Truvada™ for use as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Although this is disappointing news, there are still ways of accessing PrEP. Currently, people can access the medication through clinical trials (not currently available in WA) or by personally importing generic versions of the medication.

What’s an off-Label prescription?

In the absence of readily available Truvada for PrEP in WA, many guys are choosing to purchase it from overseas. This is easily done once you have a prescription provided by a doctor where they request the drug “off-label” i.e. for a use that the TGA doesn’t currently approve it for.

How do I get a PrEP prescription?

There are three places in Perth you can go to obtain a PrEP prescription:

  1. GP on Beaufort
  2. Ainslie House at Royal Perth Hospital
  3. South Terrace Clinic in Fremantle.

How often do I take PrEP?

Adherence (how often you take your meds), is a massive factor in how effective the pill is. The current recommendation is to take PrEP daily – any less and you may not be protected.

Are there side-effects? I’ve heard there’s side effects!

Tenofovir, one of the drugs used in Truvada, has been linked to a number of common temporary side effects including vomiting and diarrhoea and in rare cases acute kidney damage. Getting a prescription from a doctor that is knowledgeable about PrEP is paramount in ensuring you are provided with the right precautions, maintain a steady supply of Truvada and undergo important monitoring for kidney dysfunction. If you are HIV positive without knowing, and were to commence PrEP assuming you were negative, you run the risk of developing resistance to drugs used in Truvada which could limit your HIV treatment options. This is why HIV testing prior to commencing PrEP is so important.

What about other STIs?

Condoms are still a big part of preventing HIV infection, as well as other STIs such as gonorrhoea and syphilis (which PrEP can’t protect you against). If you are having sex without condoms you must remember to have a sexual health screen every three to six months.

If you think PrEP would work for you, it’s easier to get than you think, and doesn’t cost as much as you would expect.

More Information

PrEP Fact Sheet: http://www.mclinic.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/M-Clinic-PrEP-Factsheet.pdf

PrEP Access Now: https://www.prep.global/get-prep 

PrEP'd For Change: Public facebook page 

Tuesday, 05 April 2016 04:25

Quick & Dirty - The FIFO Sex Survey

Are you a FIFO worker?

Do you know someone who is?

Quick & Dirty - The FIFO Sex Survey aims to gain an insight into Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) workers' sexual health and relationship behaviour. The survey aims to explore the needs and wants of the FIFO community regarding their access to sexual health and relationship resources.

Overseas aquired transmissions of HIV among locally born Australians has been a recognised trend for a number of years and the WA AIDS Council is committed to reducing these figures. This survey will help to generate effective communications for West Australians who work in the FIFO industry, and together we can stop this trend.    

To fill in the survey, please click and share the following link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FIFO_survey

All completed surveys will be entered into a draw to win one of three $300 vouchers for Bunning, JB Hifi or BCF.

Funded by the Australian Health Promotion Association Scholarship Grant.

 

 

We, the WA AIDS Council, wish to express our support for marriage equality. We absolutely recognise the rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex clients, members and volunteers to live a full and healthy life that is not shadowed by any prejudice or discrimination, or a life that is absent all of the rights accorded to others. This includes the right to marry the person of their choice.

We have always understood that discrimination impacts on our health in many ways. We understand that lack of access to financial benefits and other entitlements, given as a right to heterosexual families, does not improve wellbeing.

The lack of full and equal recognition of our relationships is a bigger issue. For as long as this inequality exists, there will continue to be a strong government sponsored message that our relationships, in whatever form they may appear, are not as valued as others. This is unacceptable.

All evidence shows that the community strongly supports marriage equality. This is unsurprising since for every lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex person, there are parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, workmates, friends and neighbours. Thus the community bears witness to the impacts of inequality that our political leaders are reluctant to acknowledge.

It is time for our great country to join the more than 20 others that have already embraced equality for marriage and the social benefits that have followed.

For those that think that there is a viable alternative to full equality, there isn’t. Near enough will never be good enough when it comes to human rights.

 

 

Thursday, 10 March 2016 07:59

You Me & HIV - A Serodiscordant Study

In view of the HIV “treatment revolution” and bold targets to "virtually eliminate" HIV transmissions in NSW, Australia by 2020, a study led by the Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW Australia has addressed a major research gap by exploring the prevention needs and experiences among gay and heterosexual serodiscordant couples in a changing epidemic.

This qualitative study has produced new knowledge of the social, sexual, emotional and medical management of HIV among couples with mixed HIV status in metropolitan and regional NSW.

The study investigated the challenges and opportunities presented by serodiscordance in the new HIV prevention landscape, with specific focus on how couples perceived and managed "risk" and their use of biomedical technologies as risk-reduction strategies, including condoms, viral load testing, HIV testing, treatment-as-prevention (TasP), and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

The study was funded by NSW Health and developed in partnership with other research centres and key community HIV organisations in NSW, whose expertise and collaboration remained central throughout the study. 

The study findings provide insights into the intersections between HIV, sexuality, stigma, love and medicine, and the diverse and complex ways human beings both resist and make use of the increasing biomedicalisation of the epidemic. These findings can contribute to future health promotion programs and policy for serodiscordant couples, and thus promote and support the well-being of individuals infected and affected by HIV. 

Click the image below to read the full document.

YOU ME AND HIV

Late yesterday, February 18, representatives from Magenta, NAPWHA, Scarlet Alliance, SWOP NSW and the WA AIDS Council produced a joint media release following media reports of an alleged HIV transmission.

While we cannot comment on a case before the courts, we can comment on the standard of reporting. Depictions of the case in the media have been sensationalised, highly stigmatising and disrespectful. The misinformed and stigmatising media reporting that often accompanies these cases undermines public health education messages and creates an environment of fear in which people are reluctant to test, and people with HIV cannot disclose their status.

To read the full media release, click here.

 

 

 

Tuesday, 09 February 2016 05:56

Highlights from FAIRDAY 2016

Pride FAIRDAY 2016 was another huge success with a big crowd braving the heat to support their community. 

WA AIDS Council staff and volunteers represented in big numbers this year, from the Safe Sex Angels spreading the love with safe sex packs, to the folks conducting the Gay Periodic Survey, and of course, the famous WA AIDS photo booth.

A tropical oasis inside the booth, including an ice bath, gave visitors some much needed relief from the sun - and created some iconic images.

The theme for this year is the I GIVE A F**K campaign. This campaign is for gay men who care about their sexual health - and the community's - and want to take responsibility, with the knowledge, commitment and tools available to do so. We'll be talking condoms, PrEP, viral load and more throughout the campaign, so stay tuned!  

Thank you so much to PRIDE WA, our staff and volunteers, and of course, all of you for coming along and being part of a really great day!

Want to continue to #GIVEAFUCK? Come to the second forum for guys on PrEP on Monday 15th February 2016 at Loton Park Tennis Club. All the details are here

Here are the images:

The Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) have asked the QLD State Government to honour it's target of zero new HIV transmissions by 2020, by introducing a trial of PrEP in the state, to match those conducted in New South Wales and Victoria. 

"I do not want the situation in 2020 where we knew we had mechanisms to prevent HIV transmission in 2016, but did nothing", said Michael Scott, Executive Director of the QuAC.
 
A similar trial would be welcomed in Western Australia. The WA AIDS Council recently hosted a community forum on PrEP, and the overwhelming consensus among participants that the use of HIV medication as prevention is a step forward in the prevention of HIV. 
 
Read the orignal article here. The original press release can be found here.
 
Details of the second PrEP forum, to be held in February 2016, will be available soon. 
 
 
Friday, 29 January 2016 03:50

NAPWHA's new HIV Cure Website is Live

Our friends at the National Association of People with HIV have just launched a new HIV cure website. It's amazing!

See for yourself here.

HIV cure website

 

 

 

Our Mission

To minimise the impact and further transmission of HIV, other blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections. To reduce social, legal and policy barriers which prevent access to health information and effective support and prevention services.