The NAPWHA-auspiced Positive Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Network (PATSIN) is a national membership-based group for Indigenous people living with HIV (PLHIV).
PATSIN works within Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander communities and service providers to represent the interests of Indigenous Australians. It exists to provide an outlet for exchanging experiences and knowledge about HIV, and to advocate for change at the community level. PATSIN is committed to increasing education and addressing the high-level of HIV stigma within Indigenous communities.
NAPWHA and PATSIN recognise the diversity of the lived experience of Indigenous people and undertake to provide the best possible advocacy, support and information dissemination to all Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander PLHIV, by providing culturally appropriate peer support.
“We are here right across Australia. Let’s support one another by yarning through our journey.”
PATSIN HIV peer-support systems have been successfully operating within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities since the beginning of the Australian epidemic.
In June 2003, at a meeting in Adelaide, a group of positive brothers and sisters decided it was time to formalise this network. By October, by a special resolution, PATSIN became an associate member of the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA), made up entirely of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are living with HIV. The group is currently at full capacity with ten active members.
The group meets face-to-face and by teleconference throughout the year. Meetings are funded and organised by NAPWHA. PATSIN seeks to do its work through a consensus-oriented process. This means that discussion and debate continues until everybody is satisfied with a result, not just the majority.
By incorporating our perspective into the work of NAPWHA, the network provides the opportunity for HIV-positive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to advocate for change at a national level.
It also gives members the opportunity to network across their diverse communities; to identify best practice in health promotion; and to encourage the promotion of safe sex, safe needle use, HIV testing and early treatment.
Perhaps most crucial of all, PATSIN provides culturally appropriate peer support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with HIV.
Contact us via our email: email@example.com or by phoning NAPWHA on Freecall™ 1800 259 666
Apply to become a member
The purpose of PATSIN is:
To advance the rights and dignity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with HIV, including the right to participate in the Australian community without discrimination and the right to comprehensive and appropriate treatment, care, support and education.
- Promote care and support and treatments education for Indigenous Australians;
- Work in a collaborative and cooperative manner to ensure appropriate staff and skills development with allied service delivery.
- Elect representatives (and proxies for occasions when the representatives are not available) to act in the positions of male and female co-convenors for NAPWHA’s Indigenous portfolio, and will provide to them direction, guidance and nurturing. Co-convenors will provide regular communication to network m
- embers on the business of the network.
The key guiding principles of the PATSIN committee are:
- To advocate on national issues concerning Indigenous people living with HIV.
- To assist Indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by HIV through the provision of emotional and social support;
- To encourage, assist, monitor and promote culturally specific medical and scientific research into the cause, prevention and cure of HIV.
PATSIN will seek to do its work through a core membership committee of least (9) nine people and a Convenor; meeting once per year and via teleconferencing as required.
PATSIN will endeavour to ensure that women hold (3) three positions within this core group.
At least (4) four committee members are required to make a quorum to vote on decisions.
PATSIN will work to advocate for HIV-positive Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people, including urban, rural and remote settings.
PATSIN will promote care, support and treatments education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people.
PATSIN will work in a collaborative and corroborative manner to ensure appropriate skills development with allied service delivery in a culturally appropriate manner.
The Convenor of PATSIN where necessary can delegate to ensure a member from the core committee is available to undertake representation of PATSIN and its work.
About the PATSIN Logo
PATSIN’s logo was designed by the indigenous artist and PATSIN member Arone Meeks. Arone produces paintings, sculpture and prints that express a passion for country, spirituality, sexuality and politics.
Arone describes the key purpose of the logo is to provide “a safe place to yarn, and a special place where members could support each other, inclusive of any of our mob that were living with HIV, therefore having a voice and a say in what was happening with our future issues. The male image to the right of the Rainbow Serpent (our creator) and to the left a female image …. The central serpent shape also carries designs of ‘Creation’ and the virus that some our mob carry …. The overall colours of the logo are that of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.”
Us Mob and HIV resource
‘Us Mob and HIV’ aims to increase awareness of HIV, treatments, care and support among a broad audience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It contains information that deals with men’s and women’s business.
This resource may not represent all aspects of the diversity within Indigenous communities and cultures. Text from this resource can be changed or adapted to better suit the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
HIV Factsheets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities
Following the recent launch of the 2021 new edition of the Us Mob and HIV booklet, Anwernekenhe National HIV Alliance (ANA) and AFAO are launched a suite of new digital HIV factsheets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
There are four factsheets on PrEP, PEP, treatment as prevention and HIV testing.
Better to Know website
The Better to Know website is a new online information space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women. It provides detailed information on sexually transmissible infections (STIs), HIV, testing and treatment.
The sexually transmissable infection section is divided into Men’s Business and Women’s Business, so that sensitive information can be covered in a way that is respectful to Aboriginal culture.
An interactive feature of this site allows the user to receive periodical email or SMS reminders (three-monthly, six-monthly or annually) to have a sexual health check. It also allows users to notify their recent sexual partners that they may have been at risk of having an STI and encourage them to consider sexual health testing.
The website is also a practical tool for health practitioners and counsellors in Aboriginal Medical Services, sexual health centres and general practice to assist their patients in partner notification.
The site is supported with promotional posters and cards for sexual health centres and Aboriginal Medical Services.
To check out the website go to www.bettertoknow.org.au