HIV Health Literacy Framework Project
NAPWHA is committed to improving HIV-related health care and quality of life outcomes for all people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Australia. This includes promoting, and assisting all PLHIV to engage actively with, the HIV Care Continuum and have improved quality of life.
NAPWHA has embarked on a three-year initiative (2019-2021) – HIV Health Literacy Framework (HLF) project – that focuses on the role health literacy can play in contributing to these goals. The assumption is that the organisation can do more to improve its HIV-related health messaging to all PLHIV, and that improved HIV health literacy at all levels (individual, community, organisational, sectoral and policy) can be achieved. In addition to strengthening NAPWHA as a more health literate organisation, an outcome for the HLF project is increased HIV health literacy among individuals and communities.
Development of a health literacy framework for Positive Women
Community Advocates were recruited and provided professional development through NAPWHA. They then went on to facilitate peer-led community consultations with women living with HIV in Melbourne and Darwin in 2019; then in Brisbane and Perth in 2020; and culturally and linguistically diverse women in 2021. These community consultations aimed to investigate what works where and how in terms of health literacy (gaps, enablers and opportunities) and improving HIV-related heath outcomes for women. These consultations went on to inform a range of health literacy initiatives targeting (or tailored for) women.
Development of a health literacy framework for Positive Women with experiences of breastfeeding
On 4 May, NAPWHA and Positive Women Victoria hosted a national online community event for for women living with HIV to learn about the latest advice and guidance on breastfeeding. This forum was moderated by Heather Ellis, co-author of a community resource – ‘Breastfeeding for women living with HIV in Australia’ co-jointly by NAPWHA and Positive Women Victoria. The development of this community resource was informed by community consultations led by the Health Literacy Framework project.
Development of a health literacy framework for Positive Heterosexual Men
Anth conducted semi-structured interviews with his peer network from around Australia in 2020. This aimed to investigate what works where and how in terms of health literacy (gaps, enablers and opportunities) and improving HIV-related heath outcomes for heterosexual men. These consultations went on to inform a range of health literacy initiatives targeting (or tailored for) heterosexual men.
Development of a health literacy framework for Positive Latinx (of Latin American background)
Development of a health literacy framework for Positive Asians (of East and SE Asian background)
Health literacy defined as a concept
‘Health literacy’ has generated a great deal of research, policy and practice interest since it was first debated in the 1970’s. Understood as a measure of the capacities that individuals have to find, process, understand, and communicate about health information and services to protect and promote their health, debates have emphasised that health literacy is complex and multi-dimensional.
Health literacy is dynamic. There are many opportunities for internal and external influences to maintain, strengthen or decrease health literacy competencies throughout the life span.
Health literacy is an attribute with personal as well as social benefits. It is a social determinant of health, reflecting an interaction between the demands and complexities of health organisations and systems, and the skills of individuals.
The Health Literacy Framework intersecting/collaborating with the healthcare sector
The objectives of these consultations were:
- To identify corresponding strengths, gaps and limitations within the Australian health care system
- To identify opportunities and strategies for improving health literacy environments across the connected HIV-related quality of life domains
Related documents, references & further reading
Epidemiological analysis of HIV among CALD communities (2021) — by Dean Murphy, AFAO
Experience of HIV among overseas-born MSM and MSM from migrant backgrounds (2021) — by Dean Murphy, AFAO
Reaching CALD MSM and overview of programs and key insights from working with CALD communities (2021) — by Aldo Spina, AFAO
Changes in the lived experiences of women with HIV over two decades? A review of qualitative research in high income countries [PDF] — by Lisa-Maree Herron, Allyson Mutch, Chi-Wai Lui, Lisa Fitzgerald. School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
The power of peers: W3 framework for evaluating the quality and influence of peer-led programs [PDF] — by Graham Brown and Daniel Reeders reproduced from HIV Australia, Volume 14, No. 2
Mobilisation, politics, investment and constant adaptation: lessons from the Australian health‐promotion response to HIV [PDF] — by Graham Brown, Daryl O’Donnell, Levinia Crooks, Rob Lake (First published: 16 April 2014)
Project collaborators and acknowledgements
Ronald Woods, NAPWHA Research Consultant / Learning & Development Training
Cristian Cortes Garzon — co-founder of PLAN Latinx Australia
Sarah Feagan — core member of National Network of Women
Diane Lloyd— core member of National Network of Women
Anthony McCarthy — co-founder of HetMAN
Jimmy Yu-Hsiang Chen — co-founder of PANA
NAPWHA project coordination, development and implementation
Organisational and network supporters
Cairns Sexual Health Service (Carla Gorton, Dr Darren Russell, Lucy Thallon)
National Network of Women living with HIV (formerly Femfatales)
Living Positive Victoria
Queensland Positive People (QPP)
NTAHC (Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council)
Positive Women Victoria
Advisory Steering Group
Kate Bath, ASHM
Craig Burnett, Living Positive Victoria
Alison Coelho and Pier Moro, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health
Jane Costello, Positive Life NSW
Nic Holas, The Institute of Many (TIM)
Shih-Chi Kao, Pozhet NSW (Heterosexual HIV Service)
Rebekah Lamb, NTAHC (Northern Territory AIDS and Hepititis Council)
Kath Leane, Femfatales
Kirsty Machon, Positive Women Victoria
Melissa Warner, Queensland Positive People (QPP)
For more information: Advisory Steering Group Terms of Reference [PDF]
The project is supported by a funding grant from ViiV Healthcare Australia
For more information on the NAPWHA HIV Health Literacy Framework project
Contact Saysana Sirimanotham (Project Coordinator)
(02) 8568 0300 / 0424 898 698