HIV is Everyone’s Business

Throughout 2021, Positive Life South Australia is saying “HIV is #EveryonesBusiness.”

  • Whether we talk about HIV testing, HIV transmission, or HIV stigma and discrimination, HIV affects us all.
  • Let’s celebrate our shared responsibility to end HIV transmission.
  • There’s no shame in getting tested for HIV.

HIV affects us all – it’s everyone’s business
The HIV pandemic is not over. There’s still no HIV cure or HIV vaccine. HIV affects anyone who is sexually active. Whether we’re living with HIV or not, we all have a shared responsibility around HIV. This includes heterosexual women and men, trans and gender diverse people, gay and bisexual men, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, sex workers, people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, people who inject drugs and people born overseas. Today, HIV is everyone’s business.

HIV testing is everyone’s business
Anyone who is sexually active can contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI), including HIV. STI testing in South Australia is free, confidential, anonymous and safe. It’s time we offer HIV testing to everyone, including heterosexual people, women, refugees, and people from CALD backgrounds, and men who have sex with men. Some STIs are silent, without immediate symptoms and can damage your physical and reproductive health. If the test comes back positive, you’ll be able to start treatment quickly and take care of your health and your partners. Testing is everyone’s business.

HIV transmission is everyone’s business
Today, we all have a number of different strategies to prevent HIV transmission such as condoms, PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis, PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), needle and syringe programs, and the use of HIV antiretroviral treatment by people living with HIV to reduce our HIV viral load and prevent onward transmission. Let’s celebrate our shared responsibility in ending HIV transmission.

HIV stigma and discrimination is everyone’s business
Wherever and whenever stigmatising comments about AIDS or HIV or discriminatory practices go unchallenged, they impact people living with HIV and create risks to our lives, health and community. It’s everyone’s business to talk about HIV. Let’s confront ignorance, dispel myths and misinformation about HIV together. HIV stigma and discrimination is everyone’s business.

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Celebrate this World AIDS Day and have a HIV test

This Tuesday 1 December, Positive Life South Australia celebrates the World AIDS Day 2020 theme Global solidarity, shared responsibility.

As we unite together in solidarity to commemorate World AIDS Day and remember our friends and partners who’ve lost their lives to AIDS, we keep in mind our shared responsibility to end HIV, whether we’re living with HIV or not. 

“In 2020, our attention, along with the rest of the world, has been absorbed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kath Leane, Positive Life SA President. “Now more than ever we understand how much health is interlinked with the critical issues of human rights, gender equality, social protections, as well as equal access to information, treatment and services.”

“Whether it’s HIV or COVID-19 transmission, prevention in our communities must go beyond the bio-medical strategies of test and treat,” said Ms Leane.  “Shame and fear are still the strongest levers that fuel transmission. Misinformation only makes things worse.”

“When we integrate stigma-free testing into our social relations and practices, and incorporate these into gender-responsive approaches, we will begin to address the social aspects of transmission and prevention,” she said.

“We are especially conscious in this time of COVID-19, we know that if we are to succeed, leaving people behind is not an option.”

The keys to end the colliding pandemics of HIV and COVID-19, will be putting people at the centre to find local solutions. Local context is key. We must ground our responses in human rights as we seek to eliminate stigma and discrimination.

“This World AIDS Day know your HIV status and take the important step to get a HIV test to protect your health and your partners,” said Ms Leane. “No one is safe until everyone is safe.”

Testing is free, quick, private and confidential, at your local doctor, health care provider or Aboriginal Health service. To find out where to go to get test call the Adelaide Sexual Health Centre (formerly Clinic 275) on (08) 7117 2800.

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MEDIA:  Kath Leane – 0410 707 923