Let Women Talk — Sarah Feagan & Deborah Bateson

In this video episode of Let Women Talk, HIV community advocate Sarah Feagan speaks with Dr Deborah Bateson — Medical Director at Family Planning New South Wales, who presented at the 2019 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference held in Perth on 17-19 September, about contraception, choice and women living with HIV. In this video, Deborah mentions that while all contraceptive methods are potentially suitable for women with HIV, that its important for clinicians to be informed of potential antiretroviral (ART) drug interactions in order to support informed decision-making for their patients. Sarah and Deborah also make mention of the contraceptive injection (sold as Depo-Provera® or Depo-Ralovera® in Australia) and also another injectable which may be on the Australian market soon (see: Sayana Press). In terms of a male contraceptive option that is in the pipeline for Australian consumers, but still far from approval, Vasalgel, a long-term reversible contraceptive gel injected, has been in the works since 2010.

About the presentation

Women living with HIV who wish to plan or avoid a pregnancy require information about all methods of contraception and should be supported in making an informed choice about the method that best suits their individual needs. Considerations that are common to all individuals such as desire for non-contraceptive benefits for acne or menstrual symptoms, the need for discretion, religious beliefs, costs and personal preference remain relevant.

However, in relation to HIV, specific consideration needs to be given to the effect of the contraceptive method on disease progression and transmission, antiretroviral drug interactions, the presence of other chronic medical conditions and the need for protection from other sexually transmissible infections (STI). The presentation provided an overview of the current (and future) contraceptive options recommended for women living with HIV in order to support informed decision-making.

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Find out about Let Women Talk

Let Women Talk is a NAPWHA community-led health literacy initiative where HIV community advocates incorporate their rich perspectives and diverse lived HIV experiences back into strengthening community health responses — where women design and develop the health content and interventions that they want to see and hear. The initiative is one of many activities forming part of the HIV Health Literacy Framework Project, a NAPWHA project supported through the funding of ViiV Healthcare Australia.

Hear other video episodes

In this series, Sarah Feagan reports back from the 2019 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference aiming to translate research back into community practice.

Who’s in this interview?

Deborah Bateson is the Medical Director at Family Planning New South Wales. She has an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Oxford University (MA Oxon), a Masters degree in Human Nutrition from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a medical degree from the University of Hong Kong. Deborah was Chair then Co-chair of the Australasian Sexual Health Alliance from 2015 to 2017.

Sarah Feagan is a queer women who has been living with HIV since 2008. She is the previous chair of Positive Women Victoria and has recently joined the team at Living Positive Victoria as a Peer Navigator. She also the Vice President of NAPWHA. Sarah is a co-facilitator of Phoenix for Women and the Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDi). Sarah has unique approach to her advocacy and is inspired by the lived experience of the body positive to inform her practice. Sarah’s advocacy spans from the grass roots all the way up to high level governance. She has a global outlook with a local focus to bringing the community along with her.

Not Guilty: Living with HIV and the law

Join ‘Not Guilty: Living with HIV and the law’, NAPWHA’s breakfast panel supported by Gilead Sciences, an associated event of the 2019 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference held in Perth, 6.30am – 8.30am on Thursday 19 September 2019. This breakfast discussion provides an opportunity for multi-disciplinary delegates to hear and gain insight and current information from leaders in the field working in the field of HIV criminalisation in Australia and the region. Evidence shows criminalisation does not reduce HIV transmission, and the resulting stigma and discrimination build higher barriers to effective health promotion. Current laws in certain Australian jurisdictions and in the region counteract the promotion of effective prevention and shared responsibility, and the uptake of HIV testing and treatment, and therefore undermine effective public health. In joining the breakfast panel, attendees can:

  • Gain an understanding, from people who can influence the system, of the problematic nature of HIV criminalisation, in particular the negative impact on health outcomes for HIV positive people
  • Understand what the different approaches to HIV transmission reduction are in Policing and Justice and in Health and how these two are at odds with each other.
  • Gain an understanding of the reasons behind these differences
  • Be able to identify how the law plays into stigma and what the impact of this on people living with HIV (PLHIV)

Pictured L-R: Paul Kidd, Robert Mitchell (NAPWHA Board Director), Sally Cameron, Aaron Cogle, Edwin J Bernard, as part of the panel, also including Lisa Bastian and Jules Kim on issues concerning HIV decriminalisation.

Hear from the panel of experts:

Registration to this free event is essential. A complimentary buffet breakfast will be provided. Capacity is limited to 80 people. PLHIV will be prioritised places to this event at the discretion of NAPWHA. To register your place at this session by email:  conference@ashm.org.au

Other HIVAUS19 Conference-related highlights

Heads together: We can transform the region

Heads together: We can transform the region - an evening panel

Join Heads together: We can transform the region, NAPWHA’s evening discussion event supported by ViiV Healthcare, an associated event of the 2019 Australasian HIV Conference held in Perth 5.30pm – 7.00pm on Wednesday, 18 September 2019.

The presentations and panel discussion will bring together experts including community representatives, clinicians and researchers who are involved in the HIV response in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Timor Leste to identify current problems and issues and to investigate solutions.

The HIV epidemic in PNG is of significant concern due to high levels of HIV drug resistance, challenges in the delivery and supply chain for antiretroviral therapies as well as a range of systemic problems around health service delivery. In Timor Leste, currently there is a low reported prevalence of HIV, however country reports indicate increasing notifications of sexually transmissible infections. A recent report on HIV stigma and discrimination in Timor Leste has shown serious problems occurring in the delivery of HIV services and the way in which people living with HIV (PLHIV) are being treated.

In joining the evening panel, attendees can:

  • Gain an understanding, from people who can influence the system, of the issues facing PLHIV and those delivering health services to PLHIV in PNG and Timor Leste
  • Understand how effective models of collaboration between community, clinicians and industry can work in countries where there are limited resources or structural health system challenges
  • Be able to identify those components which assist in strengthening the HIV response in PNG and Timor Leste
Heads together: We can transform the region - evening panel
Hear presentations from:
  • John Rule (Senior Research Manager, NAPWHA; Panel Co-chair)  |  See John Rule’s Powerpoint Presentation
  • Arun Menon (ASHM Clinical Advisor; Clinical Director, Townsville Sexual Health Service)  |  See Arun Menon’s Powerpoint Presentation
  • Nick Mawe Dala (Director, National AIDS Council Secretariat)
  • Vikas Parwani (Solicitor, HIV/AIDS Legal Centre)
  • Janet Sangopa (President, Igat Hope Inc.)  |  See Janet Sangopa’s Powerpoint Presentation
  • Sheena Viegas (HIV Specialist, ASHM)
  • Chad Hughes (Deputy Program Director, Disease Elimination, Burnet Institute)
  • John Kaldor (Program Head, Public Health Interventions Research Group, The Kirby Institute, UNSW)
  • Darryl O’Donnell (CEO, Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations)

Registration to this free event is essential. To register your place at this session please email:  conference@ashm.org.au

Other HIVAUS19 Conference-related highlights
Related links

Nominations for the Board of Directors now open

NAPWHA Board Nominations are now open banner
The 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 2020 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.

Postscript:  NAPWHA welcomed the new board at the NAPWHA Annual General Meeting on 25 October 2019

Nomination timeline

  • Monday 26 August 2019 — Nominations for Board positions open
    (President; Treasurer/Secretary; two Ordinary Directors)
  • Monday 23 September 2019 — Nominations close at 4:00PM (AEST)
  • Friday 27 September until Friday 11 October 2019 — Postal vote to members
  • Friday 25 October 2019 — Results announced at NAPWHA Annual General Meeting

How to apply

All potential nominees should review the following information before completing the nomination documents:

Nomination documents

All potential nominees must fully complete the following documents prior to submitting their application:

Submit your nomination

Nominations are to be in writing, addressed to Aaron Cogle, NAPWHA Executive Director (as secretariat support for returning officer, Tim Leach), submitted no later than 4:00PM on Monday 23 September 2019:

NAPWHA pays our respects to Noel Offer of Green Cross Pharmacy and her HIV-prevention legacy

Green Cross Pharmacy

NAPWHA pays our respects to Noel Offer who sadly passed away recently, and her loved ones are in our thoughts at this time.

PrEP & HIV advocate Steve Spencer delivered this tribute to her lasting legacy in HIV Prevention:

“Noel Offer’s impact on the world’s response to PrEP is immeasurable. I doubt that any of the community-led PrEP access schemes would have been possible without her and the work of Green Cross Pharmacy. Noel gave us the tools, the know-how, and the actual pills to get grassroots organisations like PrEP Access Now (PAN) off the ground years ago before any government or HIV organisation would help, most of all she gave us the hope that it was possible — we could change people’s lives. The work of people like Noel along with local activists forced the hand of governments to take PrEP seriously, which alongside U=U has resulted in massive drops in HIV diagnoses in Australia. A small pharmacy in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) would help change the landscape of HIV prevention in this country. Personally, her work helped me get PrEP when no trial was available, when it cost $1000/month in pharmacies, and when doctors were still saying it didn’t work. Her work helped us change the game and give hundreds, if not thousands of Australians access to PrEP when no one else would, and she helped people get the drug for free when they couldn’t afford it — Noel turned absolutely no one down. The world has lost a quiet giant, but her legacy lives on through the thousands of lives that have been changed in this new era of HIV prevention.”

NAPWHA welcomes Saysana Sirimanotham and Charlie Tredway to the team

Saysana Sirimanotham and Charlie Tredway

NAPWHA is pleased to announce the appointment of Saysana Sirimanotham to the position of Communication and Community Engagement. Saysana brings 20 years of communications and project coordination experience across various sectors – government, community and health services, and NGOs – and most recently in his role as Communication and Marketing Officer at ASHM, where he oversaw much of the campaigns for ASHM resources, conference marketing, education programming, and policy activity. Saysana will project coordinate NAPWHA’s HIV Health Literacy Framework project – a newly ViiV-funded project spanning 3 years which will see the development of national framework/s on health literacy for special and targeted groups. The meaningful engagement and involvement of People Living With HIV underpins the project placing targeted groups at the centre of the co-design of these frameworks aiming to inform and address future targeted health literacy advice, content and messaging on HIV treatment and care.

NAPWHA would also like to announce the exciting appointment of Charlie Tredway to the position of Project Officer – in Social Media and Community Engagement. Charlie is already well-known to the sector: an international HIV advocate originally from New Zealand. He has worked at the New Zealand AIDS Foundation in Community Engagement, Body Positive rolling out the Peer Testing program, a member of the Positive Speakers Bureau, a moderator of TIM and as a facilitator for the Positive Leadership Development Institute.  His career highlights have ranged from being named one of HIV plus magazine’s 16 HIV Advocates to watch in 2016, winning Mr Gay New Zealand as the first ever openly HIV+ contestant and working at AIDS2018 in Amsterdam as one of the plenary speakers at the MPact pre-conference as well as working for ICASO and Prevention Access Campaign. Recently he served as the youngest Chairperson of Body Positive NZ. He’s excited to be joining the NAPWHA team drawing on his passion for advocacy in the digital age, and his commitment to meaningful engagement and involvement of People Living With HIV.

Related news

NAPWHA welcomes Katy Roy and Dr John Rule to the team (September 2018)