CEH help shape national BBV and STI strategies
The Commonwealth Department of Health has engaged CEH as part of a focus group to consult and help shape the 2018-2022 national strategies for blood borne viruses (BBV) and sexually transmissible infections (STI). These include the national strategies for HIV, STI, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander BBV and STI.
The purpose of this consultation is to explore stakeholder’s views on key issues and priorities regarding the response to BBV and STI. As part of our contribution CEH Co-manager Alison Coehlo, former board member of Australian Federation of Aids Organisations, Chair of the Australian Multicultural BBV/STI Alliance and Chair of the International Student Health Network was there.
She outlined how CEH sees HIV as a changing epidemic, and needs to move beyond a focus on men who have sex with men. Changing migration patterns means that we need to have specifically targeted strategies to address the needs of people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, asylum seekers and mobile populations. That hidden, hard to reach communities must not be left behind in elimination efforts, the current and future targets will never be achieved if strategies continue to be limited in their reach.
Alison emphasised the greatest burden of disease is felt by our First Nations Peoples. The voices and meaningful representation of marginalised disenfranchised communities are critical for change.
Moving Forward CEH argues that data and evidence need to support any strategic actions. More investment must be provided urgently to agencies that work in partnership with affected communities. That work, in a culturally competent and health literate way, that puts communities at the centre of our approach is key to making effective change
Building on the work of CEHs Multicultural Health & Support Services (MHSS) to develop partnerships and facilitate involvement among the Indian community
CEH is helping Interpreters to understand the complexities and distinct terminology of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in order to perform their role in an informed and accurate manner.
Since 2018 we’ve trained over 1000 interpreters in Victoria with the support of the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). This 2 hour workshop is offered as a ‘basic’ or ‘advanced’ version, and attracts 10 Professional Development points from NAATI.
More than 200,000 people in Australia are living with hepatitis B. Because the infection often has no symptoms until serious liver disease develops, only about 60% of people who are living with the virus are aware that they have been infected with hepatitis B.
HIV continues to be a major global public health issue with approximately 37.9 million people living with HIV globally.
Among the people born overseas in Australia, the highest HIV rates in 2017 were amongst people born in Southeast Asia, the Americas (North, Central and South America) and Sub Saharan Africa.
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