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Celebrating all people who experience attraction to more than one gender on Bi+ Visibility Day

Today, September 23 marks Bi+ Visibility Day. The day celebrates all people who experience attraction to more than one gender, inclusive of those who use any label or no label. Bi+ Visibility Day was established to combat bi-erasure and invisibility, and help people find the bi+ community. There are many bi+ people living with HIV in Australia. We see you, we acknowledge the richness and validity of your identity, and we are committed to supporting your journey as bi+ people living with HIV.

Bi+ Visibility Day plays an important role in raising awareness of bi+ stigma and discrimination, which create unique challenges for the bi+ community that are both interpersonal and systemic.

To-date, the way that research and data has been collated has not captured the diverse experiences of the bi+ community. This can inhibit our ability to appropriately respond to our community’s needs. HIV Futures tells us that bisexual men living with HIV are more likely to report higher frequency of HIV-related discrimination, higher rates of internalised HIV stigma and lower rates of wellbeing and community connection.

NAPWHA Vice President, Sarah Feagan:  “As a queer, HIV positive woman visibility is important in validating my experience. I am not hard to reach nor am I hard to understand. Let’s celebrate Bi+ Visibility Day and celebrate inclusion, diversity and community.”

NAPWHA Board Member, Steve Spencer:  “Today is a day of joy! Today we get to celebrate the bi+ people in our lives, and as a bi man living with HIV I am taking the time today to celebrate my own journey and appreciate all those that helped me here. We must also look forward to what we can do every day of the year to end biphobia and improve social and health outcomes for bi+ people.”

NAPWHA Executive Director, Aaron Cogle:  “It was heartening to see bold bi+ representation at the Joint HIV&AIDS and Sexual Health Conference this month, with many sessions highlighting the need for tailored action to improve quality of life for bi+ people living with HIV across Australasia.

NAPWHA is dedicated to serving the needs of bi+ people living with HIV. We are pleased to have bi+ advocates Steve Spencer, Sarah Feagan, and Eloise Monteiro as part of the NAPWHA board and staff team, which positions NAPWHA to more effectively connect with bi+ people to provide much needed support. By championing the participation of bi+ people living with HIV at all levels of the national response, we can build a positive future for all people living with HIV.”

This Bi+ Visibility Day, we encourage the NAPWHA community to seek out bi+ stories, perspectives, and research. You can join bi+ community-led events at the Stand Bi Us Forum (Sept 23 – 26).

*Bi+ is an umbrella term that refers to people who have the capacity to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree. – Based on Robyn Ochs’ definition of bisexual

Webinar: Bi+ Experiences of HIV Prevention and Healthcare (Fri, 24 September 2021, 1PM – 2:30PM AEST)

Sydney Bi+ Network is hosting a webinar for the HIV sector on bi+ experiences of HIV prevention and healthcare.

This webinar will provide an evidence-based review of bi+ people’s unique experiences of HIV prevention, healthcare and community. We will also discuss research challenges and limitations that mask bi+ health disparities, which have flow-on effects to further research, services, health promotion and policy. The webinar will conclude with an open consultation to discuss how Sydney Bi+ Network and the HIV sector can improve bi+ health.

The webinar will be presented by Steve Spencer and Eloise Monteiro from Sydney Bi+ Network. Sydney Bi+ Network is a volunteer organisation, which aims to improve the wellbeing of bi+ people through education, advocacy, community-building.

The Zoom link will be emailed to registered attendees on the morning of the webinar. The webinar will not be recorded, so we hope you can make it on the day.

Webinar: Bi All Accounts: Amplifying Bi+ Intersectional Voices (Thu, September 23, 2021, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM AEST)

Bisexual Visibility Day (also known as Celebrate Bisexuality Day) has been marked each year on 23 September since 1999 and is a day to recognise and celebrate bisexual people, the bisexual community and the history of bisexuality.

This is not only important in achieving diversity and inclusivity in workplaces, but necessary for the overall health and wellbeing of the bisexual community.

Bi+ people make up the largest part of the LGBTQ community, however are significantly less likely to be out at work, are likely to be less productive and engaged and are less likely to feel mentally well at work than gay/lesbian employees, as per findings from the AWEI Survey.

Additionally, bi+ employees are also much more likely to have an intersecting identity than gay/lesbian employees and therefore can often face multiple forms of discrimination and inequity.

Join Pride in Diversity for an empowering and inspiring panel discussion that will raise the visibility and lived experience of bi+ intersectional people, the impact this can have on the workplace experience and what organisations and allies can do to amplify and support intersectional bi+ people.

Panelists:

  • Michelle Gissara (she/her)
  • Steve Spencer (he/him)
  • Beren Niemann (he/him &/or they/them)
  • Ezra Dickson (they/she)

Highlights from AIDS2022

Montréal, Canada and virtually  |  29 July — 2 August

The 24th International AIDS Conference #AIDS2022 was held in Montreal, Canada, and virtually. Convened by IAS – the International AIDS Society, the annual event unites scientists, policy makers and activists to galvanize the scientific response, build global solidarity and enhance human dignity for all those living with and affected by HIV. NAPWHA has compiled a selective list of program highlights that may be of interest for our communities below. Also access NAM aidsmap: The official scientific media partner for the conference.

U=U Global Summit

Professor Sharon Lewin address as she takes the reins as President of the IAS

Except:  I look forward to IAS 2023, the 12th IAS Conference on HIV Science, taking place next year in Australia. I had the honour of serving as Local Co-Chair at AIDS 2014 in Melbourne, a memory cast in shadow by the 280 lives that were lost on flight MH17; many were IAS Members, including former IAS President Joep Lange.

It felt impossible to hold a productive meeting after such a tragedy, just as the challenges of today can feel insurmountable. But the secret of success of the HIV movement has always been how we come together – diverse communities, diverse disciplines, from all corners of the world.

Together, harnessing the strength, passion and talent of this movement, we will end this epidemic once and for all.”

HIV Cure Research: Rapportage by Jillian Lau

At AIDS2022, Infectious Diseases doctor, Jillian Lau, who has been involved in HIV cure clinical research at Alfred Health (Monash University) based in Melbourne, and completing a PhD in this field, reported back about HIV cure research being presented through the @HIVCureAU Twitter handle.

HIV Criminalisation and HIV Law: Rapportage by Paul Kidd

At AIDS2022, research and action on HIV criminalisation and HIV law were well represented, summarised in this twitter thread by @PaulKidd.

The Silver Zone: a Networking Zone for Older Adults Living with HIV

Globally, the face of HIV is an ageing one. Although in supportive systems people are living longer with access to effective treatments, many older adults living with HIV and HIV Long-Term Survivors are coping with the lasting impact of untreated HIV, age-related comorbidities and loss. In the era of COVID-19 and “working to end the HIV epidemic”, many feel isolated and uncertain about the future.

The Silver Zone in the AIDS2022 Global Village is a place for older people living with HIV to re-engage with the HIV community and follow the science on HIV and ageing; to feel included and celebrated.

Bi+ People Living with HIV: Positive Networking Zone

Women’s Networking Zone

Breast/chestfeeding guidance and advocacy

PozQoL (Quality of life among people with HIV) and AusQoL (the Australian Accord)

Panel discussion on Person-centered Care

‘Key Populations’

Long-acting ARV Treatment

Video:  What’s new in long-acting formulations of HIV medications for prevention and treatment? CATIE (Canada’s source for HIV and Hepatitis C information) spoke to Professor Chloe Orkin at Queen Mary University of London at this year’s International AIDS Conference who covers the new data on long-acting treatment, and their thoughts on the drug pipeline and on equity of access.

Could long-acting injectable cabotegravir and rilpivirine be self-administered? New formulations and alternative injection sites might allow administration of this long-acting treatment. Liz Highleyman reports back results from two studies which were presented to the 24th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2022), which was held in Montreal, Canada.

HIV/AIDS in the Asia-Pacific