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Let Women Talk — Sarah Feagan & Kirsty Machon

In this video episode of Let Women Talk, HIV community advocate Sarah Feagan speaks with Kirsty Machon — Executive Officer of Positive Women Victoria, at the 2019 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference held in Perth on 17-19 September.

About Positive Women Victoria

Positive Women Victoria (PWV) is the only community based organisation specifically funded to support women living with HIV in Australia and was established by and for women living with HIV. PWV provides support, information and advocacy for women in Victoria living with HIV. For over thirty years PWV has responded to the changing needs of women living with HIV, recognising the impact gender has on the way women experience HIV and addressing the specific needs and emerging issues that affect women living with HIV in Victoria.

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?

Kirsty Machon has been involved with HIV-related journalism, advocacy and policy development for over 20 years, after first becoming involved in the HIV area as an activist and writer in the early 1990s. She has worked for organisations including AFAO and NAPWHA, representing NAPWHA extensively in her role as HIV Health and Treatments Policy Analyst, with organisations including the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (now The Kirby Institute, UNSW), the International Network for Strategic Initiatives in Global HIV Trials (INSIGHT), and on the Consumers Health Forum governance committee. She is also a former editor of Positive Living and the National AIDS Bulletin. Kirsty’s principal interests at NAPWHA included the ethics of clinical research, facilitating treatments access, and advocating for the reproductive rights of women and men living with HIV. She has contributed to a professional monograph on the human rights and policy dimensions of this topic.

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.

Let Women Talk — Sarah Feagan & Carole Khaw

In this video episode of Let Women Talk, HIV community advocate Sarah Feagan speaks with Dr Carole Khaw — a Sexual Health and HIV Physician working at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and a Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide, at the 2019 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference held in Perth on 17-19 September. Sarah asks Dr Khaw to speak about one of her patients; whose case study was presented in a poster at the conference: A conundrum in the management of a HIV positive woman who conceived on Dolutegravir with deviations from guidelines.

  • Download the interview transcript [PDF]

About the poster

In May 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a statement regarding the potential safety in Women Living with HIV (WLHIV) using Dolutegravir (DTG) at conception. Preliminary unscheduled analysis of an ongoing observational study in Botswana (Tsepamo study) found 0.94% (0.37% to 2.45%) incidence of neural tube defects in infants of Botswanan women conceiving on Dolutegravir compared to 0.12% (0.07% to 0.21%) incidence in infants born to women taking other combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) at conception. This resulted in interim guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) recommending that DTG should not be used in pregnant women in the first trimester and that women on DTG be switched to other combination antiretroviral therapy pre-conception.

Dr Khaw’s case study shows the journey of one female patient. Despite the release of the WHO statement, the patient was fully involved in the decision-making process of whether or not to make a treatment switch, and informed of the risks and benefits, before and during her early pregnancy. She decided to remain on DTG (and continues to be virally suppressed), having deviated from the DHHS and EACS guidelines, eventually giving birth to a healthy baby, who remains HIV negative. The case in particular demonstrated the importance of individualised, woman-centred approach to care. Despite some guideline recommendations at that time, the patient’s voice and the right to self-determination was critical.

Related links

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?

Dr Carole Khaw is a Sexual Health and HIV Physician working at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and a Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide. She is a graduate of Monash University and was in General Practice for many years before returning to training in Sexual Health Medicine.

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.

Let Women Talk — Sarah Feagan & Rebecca Houghton

In this video episode of Let Women Talk, HIV community advocate Sarah Feagan speaks with Rebecca Houghton — Nurse Unit Manager at Sydney Sexual Health Centre, who presented a poster at the 2019 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference held in Perth on 17-19 September. Rebecca speaks about a pilot health workforce education program that will eventually roll out into other publicly-funded sexual health services in New South Wales — one which supports a nurse-led approach to screening for non-AIDS related co-morbidities, such as cardiovascular disease, kidney and liver disease, malignancies and cognitive impairment.

About the poster

Internationally, nurse-led models of care have been demonstrated to be cost effective, improve patient care outcomes and enhance service efficiencies.

With an increasingly number people with HIV accessing publicly-funded sexual health services, nurses are ideally placed to provide holistic annual assessments in conjunction with the interdisciplinary team. This model of care would allow for a more targeted use of physicians time for clients requiring more complex interventions.

Related links

  • Download the poster [PDF] — A NSW pilot education program supporting a Nurse-led approach to screening for non-AIDS related co-morbidities

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?

Rebecca Houghton is the Nurse Unit Manager at Sydney Sexual Health Centre (SSHC) which is part of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. SSHC provide general clinic services for testing, treatment and management of sexually transmissible infections (STIs), including HIV. They also have additional clinics for gay men, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men; young people aged 24 and under; Chinese and Thai sex workers; people who don’t have symptoms and need to test in a hurry.

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.

Let Women Talk — Sarah Feagan & Melinda Hassall

In this video episode of Let Women Talk, HIV community advocate Sarah Feagan speaks with Melinda Hassall — Clinical Nurse Lead at ASHM (who are a provider of continuing professional development for health professional working in the field of HIV, hepatitis B and C, and sexual health). Melinda presented at the 2019 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference held in Perth on 17-19 September, about the Removing Barriers website which offers targeted online training to healthcare professionals for addressing stigma and discrimination in healthcare settings against people affected by HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

Find out about Removing Barriers

Removing Barriers is a website inviting all health care professionals to change what we say, and change what we do — that is, to understand, recognise and remove barriers in their practice that affected people with HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C. When people experience stigma and discrimination, they are less likely to seek health care in the first place delaying diagnosis and treatment or don’t return to health care for follow up and monitoring. The website contains targeted online learning training for receptionists, practice managers, nurses and medical students. There are also two general modules: one about the importance of complete data and the other about the stigma and discrimination experienced in health care settings by people who inject drugs. These are open to any visitor to the website. “No one likes to think their work practices may be stigmatising or discriminatory. However, we all come to our professions with our own set of values, attitudes and perceptions, and there are times we could be challenged by people that we care for,” said Dr Elizabeth Crock, ASHM Board Member and Nurse Practitioner. “Removing Barriers has been designed to make all participants—regardless of the health-setting they practice in—reflect on our own personal and workplace practices by examining and reflecting on where stigma comes from, and the role we can play in eliminating it.” Related links

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.

Above: Video content in the Removing Barriers online training contains first-hand accounts of the stigma and discrimination experienced by people with blood-borne viruses.

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?

Melinda Hassall is the Clinical Nurse Lead at ASHM — develops and delivers education, training, resources and conferences to support the HIV, viral hepatitis and sexual health workforce, from introductory to advanced levels. 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.

Let Women Talk — Sarah Feagan & Shoshana Rosenberg

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.

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.”

Related links

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.