This World AIDS Day 1 December 2015, e-GPS were excited to roll out another fantastic #RedRibbonsHIV campaign thanks to a generous grant from the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD).
We had the privilege to meet some extraordinary individuals whose collective voice of experience and loss speaks up for those, mostly young men, who succumbed to AIDS-related illnesses in the 1980 and 90’s. Adding to this voice is an energy and dedication beonging to a new generation of HIV activisits. Their message of hope and education is remarkable, particularly since many of the new gen weren’t even alive during the Australian AIDS epidemic when the Grim Reaper was all over our screens in the mid 1980’s.
Transmission; The Journey from AIDS to HIV Q&A Panel. Clockwise from top left: Bill Bowtell, Former Chief Minister to NSW Health Minister, Neal Blewett 1983-1990; Nic Holas, The Institute of Many (TIM) and HIV activist; Sebastian Robinson, actor, HIV activist; David Murray, Nurse Manager HIV Outreach Services SESLHD; Abby Landy HIV activist, advocate and speaker.
The stalwart protectors of this tragic history can now work with bright young men and women whose credo is to Live Well with HIV. These health advocates are taking HIV - now a manageable chronic disease - through to it’s inevitable conclusion.
Whether you’re old or young, if you work in the HIV sector you know that the incredible efforts of peak bodies such as ACON, ASHM, AFAO and leading researchers from Monash University, Burnet and Kirby Institutes are going to bring an end to HIV. Eventually. In the meantime, the work must continue in education, research and public policy allowing equal access to medication and prevention strategies.
The goal of the latest Kirby Institute #EndingHIV research study - the EPIC study - is a virtual elimination of HIV transmission in Australia by 2020. With increasingly effective medications, HIV vaccine research nearing completion, greater education and HIV awareness, it is likely that the HIV/AIDS epidemic will one day be written into the history books as a tragic yet ultimately triumphant chapter in human infectious diseases.
World AIDS Day is a day to remember those who lost their lives to AIDS. It’s also a day to celebrate those who have survived and to recognise the good fortune of the younger generation of Australians who were born in an era where access to new testing technology increases screening rates and early diagnosis, while early treatment and treatment as prevention helps to reduce transmission. The extraodinary mobilisation in Australia during the 80’s AIDS era has led to world-leading public policy, paving the way to #EndingHIV.
Here are some of the highlights of our #RedRibbonsHIV campaign
The Hon. Jillian Skinner MP, NSW Minister for Health at the launch of the new NSW HIV Strategy on #WorldAIDSday2015
Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore wears the Red Ribbon for #WorldAIDSday
Nic Holas, Co-founder of The Insitute of Many (TIM) and HIV activist, advocate, writer and speaker
Mayor of Sutherland Shire Council Cr. Carmelo Pesce stands in Peace Park as an advocate for HIV awareness
Gamillaroi man, Mike Newman performs a traditional dance at the launch of ACON’s Aboriginal Project resource strategy to educate, inform and reduce HIV transmission in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Brothers Gumaroy and Mike, proud Gamillaroi men, wear #RedRibbonsHIV following their traditional dance performace at the ACON Aboriginal Project launch #WorldAIDSday2015
The ACON Aboriginal Project Team supporting the #RedRibbonsHIV awareness campaign
Sarah Smith, Health Promotion lead at the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District stays cool in the scorching heat at the Kogarah/ St George Youth Support Services event for #WorldAIDSday
Peer Support Educators from the St George Youth Support Service pose with Bruce Lee on #WorldAIDSday
St George Youth Support Services spent the day on the hot streets of Kogarah raising #HIVawareness for #WorldAIDSday
St George Youth Support Service Peer educators doing what they do best to raise #HIVawareness and talk about testing
Corey from White Horse Coffee in Sutherland loved being part of the #RedRibbonsHIV campaign
The team from White Horse Coffee in Sutherland on #WorldAIDSday
It’s a Wrap! We had a blast! How about you? What did your mob get up to on #WorldAIDSday2015 ?
Here’s a Blast from the Past….Check out the pics from the RedRibbons 2012 campaign
Gay guys and men who have sex with men (MSM) have the highest HIV infections in Australia.1 Consequently testing for HIV is a high priority for all HIV services and NSW Health.
A decade ago people had to wait anxiously for several days or weeks before an HIV test result was known. Now HIV testing in Australia is a simple fingerprick blood test, which provides a result within ten minutes.
- This testing is called “Rapid HIV testing”.
- This is not a screening test.
- Reactive diagnostic testing still requires confirmation through conventional testing methods.
In December 2012, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved the first rapid HIV screening test in Australia. The Alere Determine Combo HIV 1/2 Ag/Ab is the first test approved for marketing in Australia that can be used in a clinical setting2.
Currently, a study is taking place in Sydney using a new test called the Trinity Uni-Gold test. During the study, rapid testing will be free for gay guys at participating centres. This study is a partnership between NSW Health and the Kirby Institute.
The Trinity Uni-Gold test can give:
- average clinic visit 30 minutes
- average reading in 10minutes
- average follow up results 7-10 days
You can book a Rapid Test as part of an HIV and STI screen at:
- a[TEST] Newtown located at Level 1, 222 King St, Newtown
- Book online at www.endinghiv.org.au
- RPA Sexual health located at 16 Marsden St Camperdown by phoning 02 95151200