HIV Futures 2023: Research Seminar

HIV Futures 2023: Research Seminar

HIV Futures 2023: Research Seminar

HIV Futures 2023: Research Seminar will present recent research in experiences of living with HIV, including diagnosis, treatment, clinical care, and HIV-related quality of life.

In person event: ACON 414 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills.

15 Feb 2024, 2pm – 4pm.

Presentation on findings from HIV Futures 10 will be by Dr Thomas Norman, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS).

Interactive consultation: Next steps for HIV Futures

For further information, please contact Dr Dean Murphy (ARCSHS): dean.murphy@latrobe.edu.au

NAPWHA Annual General Meeting 2023 Summary

NAPWHA Annual General Meeting 2023 Summary

NAPWHA hosted our 2023 Annual General Meeting on Friday 3 November at the Rydges Hotel in Camperdown, Sydney. Representatives from each of our member organisations had a great day reflecting on our past year and looking on to the next one. Below are some highlights and resources as a summary.

Annual Report 2023

Executive Director, Aaron Cogle gave a summary of the 2023 Annual Report and celebrated some wins for NAPWHA including the launch of the self testing kit and the ‘pass it on’ anti-stigma campaign. Read the full report below for all the 2022 – 2023 highlights.

NAPWHA Board Announcements 

NAPWHA President, Scott Harlum, made announcements of new changes to the NAPWHA Board, including the welcomed appointment of Daniel Petra-Jaya Sudarto and Mark Halton as Ordinary Directors, and Steve Spencer as Treasurer. Warm thanks and acknowledgements were made to departing Ordinary Directors Justin Xiao and Simon O’Connor, and Treasurer Danny Ryding .

Image:  NAPWHA President Scott Harlum presenting at 2023 AGM.

Guest Speakers 2023

We were treated to some interesting presentations by external guest speakers about HIV in PNG, older people with HIV, plans for a HIV related stigma complaints portal and organ transplantion for people living with HIV.

Rose Kunjip from Igat Hope spoke about HIV in PNG, including the importance of the peer counselling project and reflected on challenges such as loss to follow-up. She shared activities that NAPWHA and Igat Hope have recently collaborated on as well as outlining her desires for further collaboration in the near future.

Samantha Edmonds, Director of Policy and Systemic Advocacy for the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) talked about the current review of the Aged Care Act, the important role the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA) plays and the welcome addition of NAPWHA to its membership. Of particular importance to the sector, is the proposal that NAPWHA submitted to the reform of the Aged Care Act –with the support of NACA—to expand the group of people eligible for aged care between the ages of 50 – 64 to include people living with HIV.

Carla Treloar from the University of New South Wales shared her plans to develop a HIV stigma complains portal, an exciting new initiative which she will be working with us on over the next year and beyond.

Craig Burnett from Living Positive Victoria and Dr David Griffin from the Alfred wrapped up the day with a very interesting presentation on solid organ transplantation for people living with HIV. This is of high relevance as there is rising demand for organ transplantation internationally.

Federal Minister for Health and Ageing announces free Shingrix® vaccination for some People with HIV

Federal Minister for Health and Ageing announces free Shingrix® vaccination for some People with HIV

Last Sunday the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Mr Mark Butler announced that almost 5 million Australians will have free access to the Shingrix® vaccine, from the 1st of November under the National Immunisation Program (NIP). 

Shingrix® is safer and provides superior protection against shingles than previous vaccines, of up to 10 years of protection against shingles and PHN (Post Herpetic Neuralgia), in adults 50 years and older. 

What is shingles?

Shingles is caused by varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After people have chicken pox in childhood the virus remains ‘dormant,’ or inactive, in nerve tissue.  Almost 95% of Australians have ‘dormant’ varicella-zoster virus, and the rates increase with HIV, and around 98.5% of PHIV (People With HIV) in Australia have dormant varicella-zoster.   

Shingles can present in different severities, from a mild tingling rash to a painful blistering rash on one side of the face or body that can last up to 15 days. In the initial phase of shingles, the rash can be ‘weepy’ (oozing a small amount of clear liquid) and can spread to other people who have never had chick pox, especially older people and others with potentially lowered immunity living in the same home, including PHIV. 

Around 1 in 5 people can go on to develop a painful condition called Post Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN) which can last for several years, resulting in severe and chronic pain as well as fatigue. The risk of PHN increases with age and other factors that affect immunity, including HIV. 

PHN can cause loss of work, reduced ability to perform everyday activities and requires treatment with antiviral medication, such as valaciclovir and famciclovir. These antiviral medications are most effective when started as soon as possible after the shingles rash first appears.  PHIV with PHN may also need to take strong pain relief for extended periods. 

Who can get free Shingrix? 

Shingrix® usually costs up to $560 for two doses and will now be free to:

  • all Australians over the age of 65,
  • all First Nations people over the age of 50,
  • and certain people aged over 18 with compromised immunity, ie:
    • haemopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
    • solid organ transplant recipients
    • anyone with a history (at any time) of haematological malignancy (leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma)
    • advanced or untreated HIV (CD4 count below 200)

PHIV should ask their treating doctor if they should have the Shingrix vaccinations, and if they may fit any of these criteria.

What if I do not fit these criteria?  

The two-course shot of Shingrix is currently only available privately for those over 50 years old and costs up to $560 for both doses. Many PHIV are choosing to pay full price to have the vaccinations, and many have been able to claim some of the cost through their private Health Insurance. Check with your Health Insurance provider to see if you can claim any of the cost.

NAPWHA is currently working with key stakeholders to have Shingrix available free to all PHIV, and we will be able to report more after the relevant government bodies meet later this year to review submissions.

Treatment Outreach Network June 2023 meeting held virtually

Treatment Outreach Network June 2023 meeting held virtually

Meeting Agenda

About TON

The Treatment Outreach Network (TON) is a formal collaboration of HIV community sector professionals working to optimise the overall wellbeing of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in Australia, by providing a high standard of information and current research on issues of health and treatments for HIV.

TON’s role is to provide consistent and up-to-date information to HIV sector professionals working at state and territory HIV community organisations as well as PLHIV. NAPWHA maintains a range of partnerships to ensure the aims of the network are met. The network meets formally once per year and informal communication occurs throughout the rest of the year to continue TON’s work.

ARCSHS Celebrates 30 Years

ARCSHS Celebrates 30 Years

NAPWHA was well represented at the 30th Anniversary party of the Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society (ARCSHS) held on 12th October in Melbourne.  The evening was hosted by Emeritus Professor Ann Mitchell AO who was a founding member of the Centre, and everyone was welcomed to the event by Professor Adam Bourne, currently Acting Director at ARCSHS (pictured here). It was an appropriately warm and celebratory event with messages from all the previous Centre Directors and messages of congratulations from community and research partners.

NAPWHA Deputy Director, Brent Clifton noted in his message that ARCSHS has always worked with NAPWHA in a way that has been genuinely collaborative, on projects such as the HIV Futures Study.  Richard Keane, CEO of Living Positive Victoria in his message, congratulated all researchers at the Centre for the high-quality research information, that provides evidence to inform projects and programs developed by organisations working with people living with HIV.

Aaron Cogle, Executive Director of NAPWHA, Dr John Rule (NAPWHA) , Vic Perri (LPV) , Heather Ellis (Positive Women Victoria) and Mellissa Warner, (CEO, Queensland Positive People) were amongst the people from HIV organisations around the country who were more than happy to spend the evening with colleagues from Health Equity Matters, ACON and Thorne Harbour Health and many others; celebrating the long history of community and research partnerships that have helped our communities.

Congratulations ARCSHS, NAPWHA looks forward to many more years of productive work together!

Federal Minister for Health and Ageing announces free Shingrix® vaccination for some People with HIV

Nominations for the Board of Directors now open

3he National Association for People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) is Australia’s peak non-government organisation representing community-based groups of people living with HIV (PLHIV) across Australia. We provide advocacy, policy, health promotion, effective representation, and outreach on a national level. A strong and effective Board of Directors will keep people living with HIV at the forefront of the response. This will require a dedicated team to align with the vision of the organisation to see a world where people living with HIV live their lives to their full potential, in good health and free from stigma and discrimination.

Beyond ensuring the good governance of the organisation, elected Directors will play a significant role overseeing the implementation of our Strategic Plan 2022-2030 and beyond, as well as supporting staff, volunteers and stakeholders through new opportunities and challenges as we advocate for the health and well being of the HIV community in Australia.

This is a fantastic opportunity for inspirational leaders who have a genuine passion for advancing the rights of people living with HIV.

Nominations are now sought for the positions of
President, Treasurer and two (2) Ordinary Directors.

Nomination timeline

  • Friday 29 September 2023 — Nominations close at 5:00PM (AEST)
  • Friday 3 November 2023 — Results announced at NAPWHA Annual General Meeting

How to apply

To nominate to stand for a NAPWHA Board position you must:

  1. Correctly complete the NAPWHA Nomination Form and your personal Supporting Statement (a brief personal profile written by the person being nominated, not exceeding 2 pages).
  2. Indicate which board position you are standing for
  3. Have your nominators affix their names to the form along with the name of the PLHIV organisation that they are members of, and sign the form; all in the correct places.
  4. Send the correctly filled out form and your personal statement to the Returning Officer by email or post.
  5. Note: All nominations must be RECEIVED by no later than 5.00 PM Friday 29 September 2023.

See also:

Submit your nomination

Nominations are to be in writing, addressed to the Returning Officer, no later than 5.00 PM Friday 29 Sept 2023:

  • By post to PO Box 917 Newtown NSW 2042
  • By email to ashley@halc.org.au
  • By hand to NAPWHA, Newtown Business Centre, Suite G05, 1 Erskineville Road, Newtown NSW 2042