Positive Life NSW

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02 Mar 2015

Better understanding ice use 

Throughout May and June, NUAA (NSW Users and AIDS Association) and Positive Life collaborated on a meth-use survey with the aim of helping to understand who is using meth and how they are using it. Six-hundred people took part, 459 of whom are current meth users.

Some of the main themes included:

  • Ice/meth use is less about individual ‘addiction’ and more about a social activity;
  • People mix it up when it comes to how they use ice/meth, who they use with, and in what circumstances;
  • Most people use ice/meth less than weekly;
  • Safe-use messaging needs to be in all places where sterile syringes are available;
  • People need to know where they can get sterile injecting equipment and resources;
  • There needs to be better harm-reduction advice about safer ice/meth using for on-the-go use, and safer use in group or social situations.

Informing partners of exposure

Contact tracing is informing a previous sexual or drug-using partner(s) that they’ve been in contact with a treatable sexually transmissible or blood-borne infection. These conversations can at times be difficult, but it remains important to inform sexual contacts that they may have been exposed to an STI, HIV or HCV.

Positive Life, along with a number of other community and public health agencies, is developing enhanced contact tracing and peer-led services and resources so people newly diagnosed with HIV can tell as many of their contacts and partners safely and confidently about a possible exposure.

The choice is yours

On 1 July, people living with HIV were able to access their HIV meds from their local chemist. This means PLHIV have an increased range of options and more convenience when accessing HIV drugs.  If preferred, you can still get your meds dispensed from a hospital pharmacy. But now, your local chemist can also dispense your treatment or, alternatively, you can buy online. The choice is yours. 

To help find a supportive pharmacy, a list of chemists and a handy map is on our website. You will also be able to add your feedback and share your experiences.  

What is HAND? 

HIV can sometimes impact on psychological and neurological functioning. The all-encompassing term for this is HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND).  If you have noticed, suspect, or someone close to you has mentioned, changes in your behaviour, please seek advice from a skilled clinician. The sooner you speak to someone about this and address the symptoms, the better off your mental health will be. Mental health and neurological conditions can be difficult to identify, come to terms with, and are complex, so you need to speak to your doctor or an experienced healthcare provider.

Positive Life is currently working on developing information and resources to address complex HIV neurological conditions or disorders. If you have any concerns or feel you are experiencing difficulties of this nature, we'd suggest you start a conversation with your treating HIV doctor, sooner rather than later.

For further support or information on any of the above, please call (02) 9206 2177 0r 1800 245 677.