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In this video episode of Let Women Talk, HIV community advocate Sarah Feagan speaks with Shoshana Rosenberg — a sexological researcher at currently working with the Kirby Institute (UNSW) and SiREN (Curtin), who presented the opening plenary at the 2019 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference held in Perth on 17-19 September. Shoshana spoke about the first survey of trans and gender diverse sexual health in Australia and how the findings reveal major gaps in health system.

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About the presentation

There is an urgent need to prioritise health resources and services to support the sexual health and wellbeing of transgender (‘trans’) and gender diverse people, according to a new report from the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney, launched at the Australasian Sexual Health Conference in Perth.

More than half of trans and gender diverse people who participated in the survey had ever experienced sexual violence or coercion, a rate that is four times higher than the general Australian population. Further, less than half of people who experienced sexual violence or coercion reported it to someone or otherwise sought help.

Shoshana Rosenberg is one of the study investigators: “While some of the survey results are deeply concerning, we also found that many trans and gender diverse people lead happy sexual and romantic lives. Trans and gender diverse people engage in a wide range of sexual practices, we get married and divorced, look for sex and love online and offline, and form partnerships with people of all genders. In this way, we are quite like the rest of Australia. Australia’s sexual health policies, guidelines and services require a lot of work to improve health in this domain. Sexual health is a key factor in our overall health and well being, which is why it is great that, for the first time, we have data to guide this important work.”

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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?

Shoshana Rosenberg is a sexological researcher based between Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar (Perth) and Naarm/Birraranga (Melbourne). They are currently working with the Kirby Institute (UNSW) and SiREN (Curtin) on a variety of sexual health projects. Their research interests include gender and sexual diversity, queer theory, Jewish studies, and musicology — shoshanarosenberg.com

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 the 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.

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