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The Numbers | End of 2016

  • 1.8 Million New infections
  • 1 Million Annual deaths
  • 36.7 Million Living with HIV
  • 19.5 Million Accessing treatment

In Australia

  • 27,150 Living with HIV
  • 1025 New Infections
  • 2465 Cumulative notifications in WA

Leah Adams

Leah Adams

The marriage equality postal survey has sparked a national debate on the rights of LGBTIQ Australians. The Australia Institute, with the support of the National LGBTI Health Alliance, is conducting a national research project on the effect of the marriage equality debate on LGBTIQ people and their allies. 

If you would like to participate in the survey CLICK HERE

You will not be required to provide any identifying information and as such, your answers will be completely confidential.  People who identify as LGBTIQ and their allies, who are over 18 and live in Australia or are Australian citizens are invited to complete the online questionnaire,  which should take around 10-15 minutes.

The survey will be open until November 14. 

Further information on the project is available at http://www.tai.org.au/content/survey-coping-marriage-equality-debate





Monday, 16 October 2017 00:44


T-PrEP is a FREE opportunity to get educated about PrEP and HIV, specifically in reference to the Trans and Gender Diverse community.

Click here to register!

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is the use of antiretroviral medication to prevent acquiring HIV. PrEP involves taking a pill every day (called Truvada) so that a person who is HIV-negative can stay HIV-negative. The use of PrEP as a form of safe sex has expanded in the last few years in Australia.

This event is suitable for you if you:

• are a trans or gender diverse person who would like to learn more about PrEP

• are a healthcare worker or youth worker who works with trans and gender diverse people.

MC'd by the lovely Graeme Watson from OUTInPerth, this community education event will involve speakers and community leaders from a number of groups. 

Following the presentation on PrEP by M Clinic, there will be small presentations by TransFolk of WA and YEP - Youth Educating Peers, and then a panel Q&A with speakers from each of these organisations, along with a speaker from Magenta.


Wed 25 October 2017, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm AWST


Foyer Oxford, 196 Oxford Street , Leederville, WA 6007 

Same Sex Attracted People from CALD Communities and the impact of the marriage debate

My parents were Irish and immigrated to Perth in 1967.  This was the time when boys went to primary school bare feet.  The test of masculinity was being able to walk across the quadrangle on a blistering hot day without wincing in pain.  A test I failed.  Of course, coming from the UK I didn’t have the necessary ball handling skills for cricket or football and wearing socks and sandals immediately marked me out as a target who could bring endless fun to the bullies in all grades of primary school.

My parents never acclimatised to the Australian way of life, maintaining their Irish outlook with a grim vengeance.  After twenty years in Australia they returned to Ireland for a holiday and went into a state of shock that people in Ireland had fridges and motor cars and most shocking of all had kept pace with modern society.  Ireland and Australia had moved on, but my parents had maintained a world view that originated in their migrant experience.

For years I thought it was just my parents who had never been able to really settle into the Australian lifestyle, but as I befriended and spoke with men from other cultural backgrounds I found they too had a similar experience.

There are always exceptions, yet for many people growing up in CALD communities they live in the gap between two worlds, particularly for first generation Australian.  In their home lives there are often cultural practices and expectations that constrain how they live.  However socially, and in educational or work spaces they need to acclimatise to the subtly of Australian culture.  This is particularly true for same sex attracted men and I imagine for same sex attracted women.  The expectation of family expectation to marry a member of the opposite sex or to enter an arranged marriage can be overwhelming.

Many of the men I have spoken to accept these expectations or try to navigate them, the best way they are able.  While they know they will most likely have to conform to cultural expectations the sense of freedom to be themselves in the educational, work or broader social areas of their lives gives them some space to live for a period of time without expectations or without pressure.

What has all this to do with the marriage debate?

One of the things we need to thrive is a sense of safety.  It is not just physical safety, but emotional safety, the sense that it is safe to be myself.  For many same sex attracted men and women or trans young people the home is not a safe environment to be themselves.  Those who should love them the most and want the best for them seek to confine them to traditional expectations that do not allow them to be themselves. 

With the current level of argument and noise in the wider community, there can be a feeling that work places, places of study that used to be comparatively safe are now seen as hostile.  Where does the gay man, lesbian or trans individual from CALD communities go when the animosity of the home environment is reflected and amplified in the wider society?  Where do they find the sense of safety that is necessary for them to thrive?

What is the answer?  To be honest, I don’t know.  I do know at WA Aids Council we have the Freedom Centre which provides a safe place for young people.  We also have the counselling service which is confidential and another way of finding a safe place.

Yet as a member of the LGBTQI community I am mindful of my responsibility to try as much as possible to provide space places for our family members from different CALD communities who need some additional support at this time.  Many men from Asian backgrounds I have spoken to talk about the prejudice they experience on Grindr, Scruff or other hook up apps.  I accept our sexual preferences are unique and often are outside of the realm of rationality.  Yet as gay men we need to be careful that our sexual preferences do not become the mask of racism or prejudice. 

As members of the LGBTQI community, we have all experienced at some time in our lives the sense of shame.  Shame is different than guilt.  Guilty is the sense we have when we have done something wrong.  Shame is the sense we have when we feel we are wrong.  For many members of the LGBTQI community from CALD groups they live with double shame.  Not only the sense of that they are somehow wrong but also the shame of letting their families down.

Next week, I would like to consider how we deal with shame

Thank you

David Kernohan - CEO

Thursday, 28 September 2017 06:33

Gay Periodic Survey

The Western Australian AIDS Council is once again charged with conducting a survey of gay men in Perth.  The study researches the HIV-related sexual and social behaviour of men attached to the Perth gay community to identify and understand changes in sexual behaviour and inform health promotion initiatives aimed at this target community. The research is collated and analysed by the University of New South Wales Centre for Social Research in Health, and the Kirby Institute.

Survey recruiters will have a presence at Fair Day, The Court Hotel, Connections Nightclub, and Pride and Steamworks, just to name a few.

The survey will be available online from the 12th November - 26th November. Watch this space for the link. 

The study is essentially a repeat of the biennial surveys that have previously been conducted in Western Australia.  This year it will be administered to coincide with Fairday on Sunday 29 October and we will undertake surveys during the two weeks following. 

The survey focuses on sexual behaviour, nature of sexual relationships, HIV testing practices and sero-status, aspects of social attachment to the gay community, and of course a number of demographic items. It is self-administered and confidential, and takes up to ten minutes to complete.

In 2016, a total of 900 questionnaires were collected from individuals at gay-themed venues and events.  This is a great result and one which we are wanting to duplicate and improve on in 2017. In order to achieve this we are looking at targeting Gay community events as well as extending our reach down to Bunbury to align with the South West Pride event.

The results of the Perth Gay Community Periodic survey directly inform the development of effective health promotion and community development strategies in Western Australia and will enable the WA AIDS Council to respond to important changes in sexual negotiation and behaviour, and the meanings of HIV in the gay community.  The study will also make an important contribution to the collection and comparison of equivalent data throughout Australia as part of a national data collection strategy.

Thursday, 28 September 2017 06:32

Perth International Queer Film Festival 2017

Well, that's a wrap on the second Perth International Queer Film Festival! Over 250 people attended across nine consecutive nights of film, showcasing the very best of International Queer Cinema. Held at the The Backlot Perth, this boutique cinema bought the festival to life with the support of Ian Hale and his team.

For the first time we also had a satellite screening of the Mexican film Velociraptor at Curtin University who sponsored the festival and promoted the films campus-wide.

The festival program included films from across the globe including the USA, India, Italy, France, the UK, Mexico, Iran, Cuba and Germany with seven of the nine feature films premiered in Australia for the first time, including opening night film ‘Discreet’’ which was a sell out.

We were surprised and delighted to have film maker Bryan Nelson fly over with his mum from the USA, for the premiere screening of NIQI - the opening film in our Short Film Night during the festival.

Friends of Indian film maker Deepthi Tadanki, were on holiday from the UK and made sure to make a special visit to Satyavati. They knew first hand the dedication of this director to make a very thought provoking film, which took over three years to produce, and raise funds in India for this tough lesbian topic.

Our closing night film Aeffetto Domino was exciting for Italian film-maker Fabio Massa, who was texting us before, during and after the film - staying up late in Italy - to find out how the audience responded to the Australian debut of his film.

Thank you to everyone who made the event possible, including The Film Collaborative, M-Appeal, Breaking Glass Pictures and a range of young independent film makers, as well as a fabulous team at WA AIDS Council.

We look forward to seeing you next year to do it all again!

Annette Hasluck
Perth International Queer Film Festival Co-ordinator

Thursday, 28 September 2017 06:10

The Influence of Communities Project

A lot has changed in HIV over the past few years.

We are supporting a study to understand how gay men are learning about all the changes that are occurring and what role the WA AIDS Council might play in supporting this.Part of this study is a group discussion with gay and bisexual men to gain their insights and perspective. You will recieve a $30 voucher in appreciation of your time.

The details of the focus group with AIDS Council staff are:
Wednesday 11th October 6:00pm - 8:00pm
WAAC training Room, 664 Murray Street, West perth

We are looking for up to ten volunteers to participate in this important study. The focus group will run for up to 90 minutes and will be conducted at AIDS Council premises, Participation is voluntary. 

To register your interest and to recieve a participation Information Statement, please contact ladams@waaids.com.

You can also email the Project Coordinator, Dr Graham Brown, at Graham.Brown@latrobe.edu.au with any comments or questions about the research study. 

This study has been approved by the College Human Ethics Subcommittee (Science, health & Engineering) at La Trobe University, Reference number S17-146. 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 05:23

Crystal, Pleasures and Sex Between Men Research

Researchers from UNSW Sydney, La Trobe University, ACON and Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) with assistance from community based organisations South Australia Mobilisation and Empowerment for Sexual health (SAMESH) and the Western Australian AIDS Council (WAAC) are conducting a study about crystal methamphetamine (also known as ice, crystal, meth, Tina) among gay and bisexual men. We are particularly interested in talking to men who use crystal methamphetamine for sex in Perth. 

We are interested in how using crystal during sex can be enjoyable and help with socialisaing, but also how it can be harmful; and we are interested in documenting the ways men manage these harms and protect themselves. 

We hope this research can improve understanding about how gay and bisexual men experience crystal, especially during sex, and how services can better meet their needs. 

If you are interested in being part of the study, please contact the researchers via the study website http://www.crystalpleasuresex.org.au/

If you would like more information about the study, please contact Dr Kerryn Drysdale: kdrysdale@unsw.edu.au, (02) 9385 6412. 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 04:34

Trans Pathways Research Report

Trans Pathways is the largest study ever conducted of the mental health and care pathways of trans and gender diverse young people in Australia (859 participants). It is also the first Australian study to incorporate the views of parents and guardians of trans young people (194 participants). We have worked very closely with the research team through the Freedom Centre, and jointly delivered the art workshops and trans peer mentoring with funding from the Mental Health Commission. 

 Click here to view the full report 

 What did Trans Pathways tell us?

Trans young people are at very high risk for poor mental health, self-harming and suicide attempts. Around 3 in every 4 trans young people have experienced anxiety or depression. Four out of 5 trans young people have ever engaged in self-harm, and almost 1 in 2 trans young people have ever attempted suicide (48%).

Trans young people found it difficult to access health services with 60% feeling isolated from medical and mental health services, and 42% having reached out to a service provider who did not understand or respect their gender identity. Problems with health services included a lack of education about gender diversity, not knowing where to refer trans clients, and transphobia.

Many trans young people have experienced negative situations that affect their mental health such as peer rejection, bullying, issues with school, university or TAFE, and a lack of family support.

Participants told us they used music and art, peers and friends, activism, social media and pets to make themselves feel better and take care of the mental wellbeing.

We have provided a list of recommendations for governments and health providers, as well as guidance for schools, parents, peers and young trans people.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 04:28

Perth International Queer Film Festival

The Perth International Queer Film Festival returns in September for its' second year, to celebrate all that is great about International Queer Cinema! Teaming with The Backlot Perth, we bring you nine days of short films that explore the current LGBTIQ+ lived experience. Over 1200 film makers from all over the world submitted films for the 2017 program, with 30 of the best films carefully selected to be screened over the festival. General admission tickets + special discount packages (for multiple films) are available, but going fast! All ticket sales raise much needed funds for the WA AIDS Council. 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 04:22

Marriage Equality Postal Survey Counselling

The current Australian Marriage Equality Postal Survey is a difficult time for LGBTIQ+ people in Australia. Our relationships should not be open to debate, nor should we be exposed to hurtful and hateful messages in the media. The WA AIDS Council, with assistance from the Government of Western Australia Mental Health Commission, is providing additional and specific counselling in relation to the Postal Survey, from September through to November 2017. This support is provided in the form of telephone counselling on 1800 671 130, face-to-face counselling at our premises, and online chat support via this webpage.

We strongly encourage all members of the LGBTIQ+ community, as well as their loved ones, to get in contact if you are feeling negatively affected during this time. These services will be available during business hours, 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday. 

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What We Do text

The WA AIDS council, established in 1985, leads the Western Australian community in the provision of a wide range of services in the prevention of HIV, and the treatment and care of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Click the images below for more information.


664 Murray Street, West Perth, Western Australia 6005
E waac@waaids.com | Ph (08) 9482 0000 | F (08) 9482 0001