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

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

AIDSwatch2020: “U=U: The impact on Australia”

AIDSWatch is the largest, constituent-based national HIV advocacy event. Organized by AIDS United, the Treatment Access Expansion Project and the U.S. People Living with HIV Caucus, each year AIDSWatch brings together hundreds of people living with HIV and their allies to learn about the latest policy issues, messaging strategy, and advocacy tactics.

In the current situation with COVID-19 the conference moved to a virtual one, and NAPWHA’s Charlie Tredway was asked by Prevention Access Campaign to set an early morning alarm to speak to the impact of U=U on Australia, touching on Denton Callender’s presentation at CROI and what works about our HIV response.

Highlights from the Virtual Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference 2021

Mon 6 — Fri 10 September 2021

The complete program for the joint virtual Australasian Sexual Health and HIV&AIDS Conference #HIVAIDS2021 & #SH2021 has a large variety of live and on-demand full program online. NAPWHA has compiled a selective list of program highlights that may be of interest for our communities below.

Tues 7 Sep (9:30am) Plenary Speaker highlight: David Caron

David CaronWhat Do I Know? What Can I say? What Should I Do? (40 Years with AIDS) – David Caron, Professor of French and Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Michigan USA

David Caron is Professor of French and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan and a Guggenheim Fellow. He is the author of AIDS in French Culture: Social Ills, Literary Cures (Wisconsin, 2001) and My Father and I: The Marais and the Queerness of Community (Cornell, 2009). He has also co-edited a volume of essays on Charlotte Delbo, Les revenantes (Le Mirail, 2011). His latest book, entitled The Nearness of Others: Searching for Tact and Contact in the Age of HIV (Minnesota, 2014), offers a personal look at the experience, meanings, and politics of HIV disclosure. He is currently at work on a book on the poetics of personhood in contemporary queer cinema from Asia, Europe, and the Americas.


On-demand abstract program

#139 – Mutually reinforced concerns about long-term use of Antiretroviral Treatment by PLHIV in Australia presented by Brent Allan (Qthink)

Background:  Positive Perspectives 2 (PP2) is an international survey of people living with HIV (PLHIV) across 25 countries (N=2,389 global, N=120 Australia) run by ViiV Healthcare which aimed to generate insights into unmet needs of PLHIV with respect to indicators of health related quality of life (QoL) and included attitudes to daily antiretroviral (ART) usage. HIV Futures 9 (HF9) is a cross sectional survey of Australian PLHIV (N=847) run by La Trobe University which aimed to better
understand factors affecting QoL including the impact of daily ART.

Tues 7 Sep (1pm) – What is it going to take to end stigma?

This is an interactive panel discussion with Australian stakeholders about working together to address the ongoing challenge of stigma and HIV. The panel will explore their own experiences and learning and share some examples of best practise.

Co-chairs:  Steven Spencer (NAPWHA) & Christy Newman
Speakers and Q&A panelists:  Carla Treloar (CSRH, UNSW Syd), Karl Schmid (ABC America reporter and founder of +Life), Karl Johnson (ACON), Aaron Cogle (NAPWHA), Jessica Michaels (ASHM), Jules Kim (Scarlett Alliance)

Video below:  ACON’s latest campaign, It’s Time to Think Positive About HIV, showcases the kind of allyship that can end stigma, through the reflections and connections between people living with HIV and their HIV negative allies.



Tues 7 Sep (2pm) – The HIV and sexual health needs of bi+ people

In this exciting pioneering session – a first-ever bi+ community-led session – Eloise Montiero presents an Introduction and the unique experiences of bi+ people in HIV and sexual health; and Jennifer Power speaks on Bisexual men living with HIV: wellbeing, connectedness and the impact of stigma.

Co-chairs:  Steven Spencer (NAPWHA) & Christy Newman
Speakers:  Eloise Monteiro (NAPWHA), Benjamin Bavinton (Kirby Institute, UNSW), Jennifer Power (ARCSHS, La Trobe University), Ruby Grant (University Of Tasmania), Brian Feinstein (Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science)
Panel Discussants:  bi+ community members with diverse experience, including Sarah Feagan (NAPWHA)


Tues 7 Sep (4pm) – Rethinking women and HIV: New paradigms for prevention and care

In this session – community member, Rita Broughton brings Perspectives from women living with HIV; Heather Mugwagwa delivers an abstract on #Missing Voices: Building HIV positive women’s meaningful engagement with HIV clinical and cure research. Speakers from Kirby Institute present on an exciting project: “It was like my body was dancing through the pencils:” Meditative process art with women living with HIV in Australia.

Co-chairs:  Sarah Feagan (NAPWHA) and Eloise Monteiro (NAPWHA)
Speakers:  Kirsty Machon (Positive Women Victoria), Heather Mugwagwa (Positive Women Victoria), Alison Carter and Patricia Morgan (Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney), Jane Costello (Kirby Institute; Positive Life NSW)

Tues 7 Sep (4pm) – Strengths-based approaches to HIV prevention, care and support for gay, bisexual and queer-identifying men

In this session – Tim Kruilic (Living Positive Victoria; LaTrobe University) presents on Peer support for People Living with HIV from a strengths-based perspective; Karl Johnson (ACON) speaks on Thinking positively about HIV. Phillip Keen (Kirby Institute) presents on Factors associated with PrEP uptake and prevention of HIV among men in NSW..

Co-chairs:  Jeanne Ellard (AFAO) and Dean Murphy (Kirby Institute)
Other Speakers:  Matthew Vaughan (ACON), Denton Callander (Columbia University Spatial Epidemiology Lab), Ingrid Young (University of Edinburgh)

Tues 7 Sep (6pm) – HIV, Migration and Mobility: Legal Barriers and Support Needs

This session includes legal and clinical presentations on supporting people living with HIV in migration. Including Jimmy Yu-Hsiang Chen The experience of migrating to Australia for a person living with HIV; Alexandra Stratigos presents on How to migrate to Australia for someone living with HIV.

Co-chairs:  Kate Bath (ASHM) and Benjamin Riley (ASHM)
Speakers:  Mary Crock (Sydney Law School, USyd), Alexandra Stratigos (HALC), Jimmy Yu-Hsiang Chen (NAPWHA), David Nolan (Royal Perth Hospital Department Of Immunology), Jason Ong (Melbourne Sexual Health Centre)

Tues 7 Sep (6pm) – Regulating Sex

Co-chairs:  Shelley Kerr (ASHM) & Robert Mitchell (NAPWHA)
Speakers:  Heath Paynter (AFAO), Aaron Cogle (NAPWHA), Zahra Stardust (Queensland University of Technology), Jules Kim (Scarlet Alliance)

Wed 8 Sep (11:30am) – Proffered Paper Session: Peer-based models and PLHIV

#195 Understanding the effect of COVID-19 restrictions on peer support staff and programs presented by Brent Clifton (Positive Life NSW)

Qualitative interviews with 21 HIV support program staff across Australia were conducted to identify how social distancing restrictions and working from home policies impacted service provision. An inductive thematic analysis was conducted.

#142 Measuring quality of life to inform the Australian national HIV response: Information from HIV Futures 9 presented by Dr Jennifer Powers (LaTrobe University)

HIV Futures 9 was a cross-sectional, self-reported survey of adults living
with HIV in Australia (N=847). Data were collected in 2018/2019 via a questionnaire completed online or in hardcopy which covered a range of topics including health, financial security and social connectedness. Quality of Life (QoL) was measured using the PozQol scale, a 13-item scale developed in Australia specifically to measure QoL among
PLHIV. Descriptive and bivariate analysis were used to identify factors which support QoL.

#189 Peer navigation with women and heterosexually-identifying men; overcoming isolation and building community presented by Anth McCarth and Sarah Feagan (Living Positive Victoria)

Living Positive Victoria, by employing female and heterosexual male peers, substantially increases engagement with heterosexual communities. Peers who role model dignity, self-respect and openness can inspire and offset shame and internal stigma in others. Peer navigators receive supervision and training, are client-centred and employ interpersonal skills to earn trust and respect. They respond to a diverse client group, support HIV health literacy and provide guidance through health systems. They lead carefully designed social and health promotional events to allow peers to meet, share and learn together. Community is created and strengthened. Evaluation is embedded.

#134 Community based delivery of same day PrEP (iPrEP) presented by Mark Fisher (Body Positive Inc, Auckland)

Community peer based testing is a discrete way to provide HIV testing to an audience that doesn’t engage with their regular healthcare provider. By partnering with a GP clinic an innovative approach was initiated in May 2020 which enabled peer testers at Body Positive to provide immediate access to PrEP (iPrEP) for MSM at risk for HIV as identified through inconsistent condom use with casual partners.

#190 COVID-19 vaccine acceptability among people living with HIV (PLHIV) and HIV-negative pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) users presented by Dean Murphy (Alfred Health, Melbourne)

COVID-19 vaccine acceptability in Australian PLHIV is unknown. In 2021, during Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, we surveyed PLHIV and HIV-negative pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) users to evaluate their likelihood of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine via the VAXPLORE study.

Wed 8 Sep (11:30am) – Proffered Paper Session: Clinical Management & Therapeutics

U=U: ASHM Guidance for Healthcare Professionals

#66 Supporting the healthcare workforce to stamp out scepticism about U=U: the 2020 ASHM guidance for healthcare professionals presented by Brent Allan (Qthink)

This U=U: ASHM Guidance for Healthcare Professionals  and Undetectable Roadmap Poster follows international best practice by providing a set of five recommendations for healthcare providers (HCP) to follow based upon up to date advice from other countries and international health agencies. The most critical message in this guidance is for HCP to inform their patients of this scientific knowledge: keeping their HIV viral load at an undetectable level by consistently taking HIV medications means that they will not pass HIV to others through sex.

Wed 8 Sep (2pm) – Are we on-track to achieve Quality of Life for All by 2030?

NAPWHA hosts an exciting symposium asking a vital question: ‘Are we on-track to achieve Quality of Life for all people with HIV by 2030?’

This session provides delegates with a greater understanding of the intersection of how the patient and healthcare provider relationship is linked to a high health-related quality of life and provide an opportunity for ASHM delegates to influence the development of a Community Accord on Quality of Life of PLHIV in Australia.

Hosted by:  Daniel Reeders (NAPWHA)
Speakers:  Dr Nneka Nwokolo, ViiV Healthcare and Brent Allan, Policy Advisor, ASHM, ICASO and the IAS
Panel Discussants:  Dr Jason Ong, Michael Brown, Dr Vincent Cornelisse, Abbie, Dr Catriona Ooi, Emil Canita, Dr Clara Tuck Meng

Wed 8 Sep (6pm) – ASHM launch of ‘The Optimal Scenario and Context of Care’

This session will be presented as a panel of international and domestic experts to present upon the challenges and opportunities that exist in the area of infant feeding options for people living with HIV specifically in resource-rich countries that often have conflicting advice to what is provided to people living with HIV in resource-poor settings.

Hosted by:  Brent Allan (ICASO) and Kirsty Machon (Positive Women Victoria)
Speakers:  Dr Lucy Stackpool-Moore (IAS), Jessica Whitbread, (HIV Rights Activist), Dr Michelle Gilles (Monash HIV, Monash Infectious Diseases), Heather Ellis (Positive Women Victoria)

Wed 8 Sep (6pm) – Clinical Management & Therapeutics in Transgender Health

This session will be presented as a panel of international and domestic experts to present upon the challenges and opportunities that exist in the area of infant feeding options for people living with HIV specifically in resource-rich countries that often have conflicting advice to what is provided to people living with HIV in resource-poor settings.

Co-chairs:  Dr Darren Russell (Cairns Sexual Health Service) and Teddy Cook (ACON)
Speakers:  Dr Clara Tuck Meng Soo (Hobart Place General Practice), Dr Asa Radix (Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, New York), Rena Janamnuaysook (Institute of HIV Research and Innovation, Bangkok)

Thu 9 Sep (11:30am) – Selected proffered papers: Social Political & Cultural Aspects

#141 Fifty and positive: Findings from HIV futures 9 on mental health among people living with HIV aged 50 years presented by Jennifer Power (ARCSHS, La Trobe University)

Background:  The average age of the population of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Australia is now around 50 years. Ageing with HIV presents complexities with respect to managing ageing-related health conditions alongside HIV. However, less is known about the impact of ageing with HIV on mental health and quality of life, an issue we explore in this paper.

#82 Quality of Life for All presented by Daniel Reeders (NAPWHA)

Background:  A project developing online training modules covering ‘HIV 101‘ prompted NAPWHA to consider what key messages we would want to share with someone new to the HIV sector. Not just to orient new colleagues to established and familiar ways of working, but to prepare for the future of the Australian community-based HIV response.

Thu 9 Sep (2pm) – Selected Abstract Spotlight Session

#191 – Heard but not seen: Experiences of telehealth by people living with HIV (PLHIV) in COVID times presented by Dr Dean Murphy (Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney)

Background:  COVID-19 has brought about – or hastened – innovations in clinical care such as ‘telehealth’ (i.e. consultations conducted via video-conferencing platforms or telephone) that are likely to persist beyond the pandemic. It is therefore important to consider the ways in which the clinical encounter is changed through these innovations.

Thu 9 Sep (4pm) – Making an HIV diagnosis

This session explores the ways in which HIV diagnosis is undertaken and experienced. It will include discussion of the diagnosis encounter (and how this has changed over time), as well as data collection activities related to a new HIV diagnosis, current practices around initiation of antiretroviral therapy, and referral of newly diagnosed people into other services such as peer-based support.

Co-chairs:  Dr John Rule (NAPWHA) and Prof. Edwina Wright (Alfred Health)
Speakers: This session includes presentations including Daniel Reeders presenting on Learning modules for HIV diagnosis (see also: HIV 101); Dr Allyson Mutch presenting on HIV Peer Navigation: GPs Perspective; and Chris Howard speaking on Peer navigation: Design and implementation)Carole Khaw (Adelaide Sexual Health Centre), Dr Dean Murphy (Kirby Institute / Alfred Health), Chris Howard (Queensland Positive People)

Fri 10 Sep – COVID-19 conference day

Devils in the Details – Making sense of COVID-19 is a one-day conference, featuring thematic sessions from a range of speakers.

This inaugural, free and open to all is an opportunity for the Australasian region to hear more about emerging and unpublished science on COVID-19 and to strengthen collaboration between research groups nationally, across our region and internationally.

Resilient ageing and end-of-life planning among people living with HIV

As part of the 2021 Australian Social Policy Conference, a number of leaders, representing a diverse community service provision network, were invited to offer their insights and further case studies to improve ageing and aged care policy and practice for people living with HIV (PLHIV).

“Given the high numbers of people who will be ageing and living longer with HIV, we have identified HIV and ageing as one of the new frontiers of the HIV epidemic,” said NAPWHA National Research Manager, Dr John Rule, speaking of the NAPWHA resource published in 2019.

“It is urgent that health and social policy responses be developed to  support the needs of this group. In this #ASPC session, presenters from various Australian jurisdictions report on service responses that have a unique HIV peer-support component.”

This session was chaired by Associate Professor Limin Mao (UNSW Centre of Social Research and Health) with the video recording released with kind permission to NAPWHA allowing for further dissemination to our community-based PLHIV organisational members across all Australian States and Territories, and for those who were unable to attend.

The conference, hosted by the UNSW Social Policy Research Centre and held online from 25 October to Friday 5 November, addressed contemporary issues in the context of ongoing health and social policy themes with session conveners from across Australia.

PLHIV ageing and end-of-life planning: a researcher’s perspective

Video:  Dr Kerryn Drysdale (Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney) presenting on an Australian Department of Health-funded project, entitled ‘Resilient Ageing and End-of-Life Planning among people living with chronic hepatitis B, chronic hepatitis C or HIV (BBV-RAEL)’. Key findings focusing on HIV, ageing and end-of-life planning will was presented, based on in-depth interviews and the online Delphi consensus building with the project’s key stakeholders.

PLHIV ageing and end-of-life planning: what’s the national policy agenda?

Video:  Dr John Rule (NAPWHA) presenting on ‘PLHIV ageing and end-of-life planning: what’s the national policy agenda?‘   

Preparing the community for ageing and aged care service engagement

Video:  Joel Murray (ACON) presenting on ‘Preparing the community for ageing and aged care service engagement‘.

PLHIV ageing and aged care service provision: role of peer-navigators

Video:  Chris Howard (Queensland Positive People) presenting on ‘PLHIV ageing and aged care service provision: role of peer-navigators’.

Ageing and aged care: serving a diverse PLHIV population groups

Video:  Jane Costello (Positive Life NSW) presenting on ‘Ageing and aged care: serving a diverse PLHIV population groups‘. 

The role of peer-navigation in PLHIV support services: needs and gaps

Video:  Neil Fraser (Positive Life NSW) presenting on ‘The role of peer-navigation in PLHIV support services: needs and gaps‘.