2017 Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference joint with 2017 Australasian Sexual Health Conference National Convention Centre Canberra 6 – 9 November 2017

AFAO Community Hub

The AFAO Community Hub will again be a feature of this year’s Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference. The program for the Hub is being developed and will include sessions on:

  • Early initiation of treatment: busting the myths
  • HIV Cure: What would it look like?
  • PrEP: working towards affordable and equitable access in Australia
  • PrEP and STIs: idle chit chat or the next real challenge?
  • Anti-microbial resistance in STIs: the role of community in addressing this emerging issue
  • HIV and Mobility
  • AIDS Action Council, HIV and the Australian Capital Territory
  • Imagining self-testing in Australia: opportunities and challenges
  • Hidden populations and the virtual elimination of HIV: who are these populations, and how do we ensure they are included in the national response?
  • Trans and gender diversity: making spaces safer and more inclusive through language
  Monday 6th November
Morning Tea

10:30am – 11:15am

Busting HIV treatment myths with the facts
An interactive session emphasising the role of HIV Positive Peer Workers from community based organisations working in partnership with S100 Prescribers to ensure continuum of care for people living with HIV.
How to improve access to peer support programs that enable greater health and treatments literacy for both newly diagnosed and longer term diagnosed people.
The session will outline Living Positive Victoria’s HIV Treatment Myths and Misconceptions resource and other relevant fact sheets as well as peer network programs that build resilience. We will also generate discussion among the audience as to what they feel is important for community organisations engaging with PLHIV in terms of ‘how’ and ‘outcomes’.

Panel members: Max Niggl (Living Positive Victoria), Vic Perri (Living Positive Victoria), David Baker (GP and s100 prescriber, East Sydney Doctors)


12:45pm – 2:00pm

HIV, sexual health and trans and gender diverse populations: data collection and research gaps
In order to make evidence-based decisions regarding the development and targeting of programs and the allocation of resources, it is vital that data collection and research is inclusive, meaningful and representative of all trans and gender diverse people.
Many databases, studies, systems and surveys do not adequately capture people with trans and gender diverse experiences in their data. When data is collected, the indicators used often misrepresent the trans and gender diverse experience as a gender identity in and of itself, and so don't accurately capture an individual's gender identity (male, female or a non-binary identity) in order to be used to effectively inform programs.
This session will explore what can be done to address these issues as well as the research gaps for people of trans and gender diverse experiences.

Panel members: Ayden Scheim (University of California San Diego), Teddy Cook (PASH.tm – The Peer Advocacy Network for the Sexual Health of Trans Masculinities), Mish Pony (Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association), A/Prof Martin Holt (Centre for Social Research in Health), Dr Denton Callander (Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society).

Afternoon Tea

3:30pm – 4:00pm

How to engage with different communities within Queensland
Queensland’s eclectic mix of men who have sex with men (MSM) populations each require a unique and localised approach to delivering sexual health promotion. QuAC (Queensland AIDS Council) will share its public health outreach strategies in connecting organised gay communities in Queensland’s capital Brisbane, and difficult to reach non-gay identified MSM populations in conservative parts of southern Queensland and rural and remote far north Queensland.

  Tuesday 7th November
Morning tea

10:30am – 11:30am

Prisons: identifying the disparities in HIV prevention, testing and care
This session will consider why there are disparities in HIV prevention, testing and care for prisoners compared to the wider population, and how we work towards equal care for prisoners. While rates of HIV among prisoners is low in Australia, we need to ensure that access to testing, treatment and prevention options such as condoms, PrEP, PEP, and NSPs are available so HIV rates among prisoners remains low. This session will also consider what reforms could be implemented to improve the current barriers to equal access to care that prisoners face.

Panel members: James Dunne (Director, Programs & Communications, AIVL – Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League), Simon Ruth (CEO, VAC – Victorian AIDS Council), Dr Michael Levy (Clinical Director, Justice Health Services, ACT Health), Lea Narciso (Senior Project Officer (HIV and STIs), SA Health).


1:00pm – 2:30pm

Remission and HIV cure: what are the challenges for our communities
This session, presented with the Australian HIV Cure Community Partnership, will delve into the possibility of extended periods off antiretroviral therapy rather than complete eradication of HIV. An initial overview of current HIV cure research will be followed by a panel discussion around what remission could mean for people living with HIV, and the challenges we might face if remission becomes a reality.

Panel members: Professor Sharon Lewin (The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity), Dr Rowena Johnston (amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research), Cipri Martinez (National Association of People With HIV Australia), additional community representative to be confirmed, Dr Robert Page (GP and s100 prescriber, East Sydney Doctors).

2:30pm – 4:00pm

Concurrent to conference program

PrEP: Working toward affordable and equitable access in Australia
This session provides an informal opportunity for community organisations to discuss how we work towards affordable and equitable access to PrEP in Australia. In the context of an imminent PBS listing, how do we transition participants from the trials to the PBS, and what are the challenges for those who import or who are Medicare ineligible?
Afternoon Tea

4:00pm – 4:30pm

HIV prevention for sex workers – implications and applications of new developments
How does the changing landscape of prevention impact on sex workers? Given the legal and policy environments in which sex work occurs, and the differing set of considerations within a sex work context; what are the challenges and opportunities of these new developments and how do they impact on different sub populations within the sex work community (i.e. CALD, migrant, male and trans sex workers)?

Panel members: Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association: Jules Kim - CEO, Udesha Chandrasena - Policy Officer, Mish Pony - Trans Representative, and Paco Santana - Male Representative. SWOP ACT: Lexx Jury.

4:30pm – 5:00pm

Concurrent to conference program

ViiV Healthcare:
Presentation and discussion of “Critical Steps Towards Addressing HIV in Australia: Perspectives and Priorities for Australia’s HIV Goals” report

  Wednesday 8th November
Morning tea

11:00am – 11:30am

Antimicrobial resistance in STIs: the role of community in addressing this emerging issue
Antimicrobial resistance in STIs has become a topic of interest over the last few years. Much of the discussion has been at the clinical or research level, with this discussion focussing on biomedical prevention strategies such as PrEP and Treatment as Prevention. This session will investigate what antimicrobial resistance means to our communities, whether our communities should be concerned, and the role our communities play in addressing this emerging issue.

Panel members: Brent Clifton (ACON), Aaron Cogle (National Association of People With HIV Australia), Dr Vincent Cornelisse (GP - Prahran Market Clinic).

11:30am – 1:00pm

Concurrent to conference program

PrEP and STIs: idle chit chat or the next real challenge
In the context of biomedical prevention methods such as PrEP, and increased condomless sex among PrEP users, are STIs the next challenge for community organisations, or are STIs a side effect of scaling up biomedical prevention strategies? This session will aim to investigate whether there should be community concern about the potential increased risk of STIs among our communities with the introduction of PrEP, and if so, what the community response to this could look like.
Panel members: Chris Williams (PrEP’D For Change), Nic Holas (TIM – The Institute of Many), Alison Coelho (CEH – Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health), Dr Denton Callander (Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society), Dr Vincent Cornelisse (GP - Prahran Market Clinic).

1:00pm – 2:15pm

Hidden populations and the virtual elimination of HIV transmission
As we work towards virtual elimination of HIV transmission, with targets such as the UNAIDS 90-90-90, it is important to ensure that certain populations are not left behind, including people with undiagnosed HIV, late HIV presenters and those not being treated. This session will aim to look at who some of these hidden populations are, including mobile populations, and discuss how we ensure they are included in the national response.

Panel members: Roanna Lobo (SiREN – WA Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Applied Research and Evaluation Network; CoPAHM – Community of Practice for Action on HIV and Mobility), Jeremy Wiggins (PASH.tm – The Peer Advocacy Network for the Sexual Health of Trans Masculinities; VAC – Victorian AIDS Council), Alison Boughey (Positive Women Victoria), Barbara Luisi (MHAHS - Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service), Michele Tobin (ANA - Anwernekenhe National HIV Alliance), Tim Chen (ACON).

Afternoon Tea

3:45pm – 4:15pm

Imagining self-testing in Australia: opportunities and challenges
As we move towards HIV self-testing in Australia, this session will investigate the opportunities and challenges for our communities with the provision of access to self-testing. It will also explore some of the different roles for service providers to support the roll-out of this new technology.

Panel members: Ben Wilcock (AFAO), Jime Lemoire (QPP – Queensland Positive People), Katy Roy (ASHM - Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine).