HIV Foundation Queensland is proud to support the following HIV programs and initiatives to work towards the end of HIV transmission, stigma and discrimination.
PREVENTION AND TESTING
RAPID is a community-based peer-led HIV and syphilis rapid testing program operated by Queensland Positive People as the lead agency. The RAPID program (RAPID) consists of a range of HIV and STI rapid testing initiatives, including a main clinic in Fortitude Valley and outreach clinics on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane sex on premises venues. The clinics provide a free walk in HIV and syphilis testing service out-of-hours. It was developed to provide an alternative community-based service.
The RAPID model is based on the powerful and unique contribution provided by the ‘lived experience’, and the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV and affected communities in all aspects of service delivery. This alternative peer model employs trained community members who understand sexual diversity amongst communities of men who have sex with men and other at-risk populations. This peer-led clinic model means that the staff members providing the testing are from the affected community and are employed and trained by the peak Queensland organisation representing people living with HIV. It involves informed community members mutually sharing information and experiences about HIV, the importance of an early diagnosis, undetectable viral load, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and stigma.
This service is delivered in partnership with the Foundation who supports the operation of RAPID with funding and resources. This is supported by a Memorandum of Understanding between Queensland Positive People and the Foundation. Clinical oversight is provided by an Infectious Diseases Specialist (Dr Andrew Redmond).
To find out more about RAPID locations and opening times CLICK HERE
The University of Queensland has partnered with Queensland Positive People (QPP) to host a free RAPID HIV and syphilis testing clinic every Thursday 12pm-4pm at SHOC's (Student Help On Campus) St Lucia office. The first of its kind to operate in an Australian university, the service will be open to UQ students and staff including international students, students under the age of 18, and Medicare ineligible students on a drop-in basis.
The program aims to increased awareness of HIV amongst students and encourage voluntary uptake of HIV testing. Those who take advantage of the free service will avoid uncomfortable Q&A’s and can be assured that neither QPP nor The University of Queensland will keep clinical files documenting sexual behaviour nor injecting practices or records of appointments.
RAPID testing commenced on Thursday 22nd September and operates on a drop-in basis between 12pm and 4pm each week.
ACCESS to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
Congratulations to everyone involved in the development and implementation of the QPrEPd study. The study officially went live on 7 November 2016.
The three main agencies involved in the study are Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHS), the Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) and the University of Queensland (UQ). The Cairns Sexual Health Service are responsible for overall coordination of the study. The Queensland AIDS Council are working on a state-wide awareness program to promote QPrEP’d and the ComePrEP’d campaign, while UQ begun monitoring and evaluation of the study. The HIV Foundation Queensland provides general support to all key partners and stakeholders in the study.
For further information on the study, the 20 registered study sites and dates they will commence enrolling participants, please visit ComePrEPd.info/qprepd-project.
POST-Exposure Prophylaxis (Pep) ACCESS PROJECT
In late 2015, the Foundation formed a PEP working group of representatives from community organisations, sexual health clinics, hospital emergency departments and the Department of Health to develop and implement a variety of strategies for a more co-ordinated approach to access to PEP out-of-hours. Activities being implemented as part of this include: working with “Clinical Champions” in emergency and pharmacy departments across the state; the development of an educational video on PEP for hospital and clinical staff; and exploring alternative models of access to PEP out-of-hours. Please refer to our newsletter for our ongoing updates in this space.
In February 2016, Queensland Positive People in partnership with HIVFQ hosted ‘’Risky Business? Perspectives of HIV in the Legal Landscape’’ with approximately 40 legal representatives, clinicians, community members, policy makers and academics. The day was facilitated by Paul Kidd, Chair of the HIV Legal Working Group who helped to bring about the repeal of Section 19A in Victoria. Key speakers included Dr Ian Freckleton Q.C., Melissa Woodroffe, Nic Holas and Daniel Reeders.
Queensland Positive People are coordinating a Queensland HIV and the Law Working Group to progress actions that arose from the forum.
MELT and Brisbane Queer film festival
HIVFQ was proud to be a major sponsor of the MELT and the Brisbane Queer Film Festivals 2016 for the second year in a row. MELT & Brisbane Queer Film Festival is a celebration of both Queer arts and culture and the festivals delivered an amazing mix of music, cabaret, comedy, circus, visual arts and film. Ji Wallace, as HIVFQ Ambassador addressed the audiences at the opening nights of both festivals and talked about his journey to the Sydney Olympics and his personal story of living with HIV. Before every film at the Brisbane Queer Film Festival a new short film screened featuring Ji and his call to action for all of us to get involved to END HIV by 2020.
In April 2016, HIVFQ in partnership with the Institute of Many and Bounty Films is hosting a unique viewing of ‘CHEMSEX’ and the first community forum on this issue in Queensland. CHEMSEX is a documentary that tells the story of several men and their relationship with drugs and one health worker who has made it his mission to save them. While society looks the other way, this powerful and unflinching film uncovers a group of men battling with HIV, drug use and finding acceptance in a changing world. The film will be followed by a panel of guest speakers from the community, a health professional and researcher with the aim to facilitate community discussion around chemsex in the gay community in Brisbane.
While chemsex remains a minority practice within gay communities, problematic use exists particularly within some sub-cultures of sexually adventurous men and people living with HIV.
The perceived rise in the use of drugs during sex has prompted concern about high-risk sexual behaviours and the association between drug use and transmission of HIV. Men involved in chemsex related research in Australia and the United Kingdom have also repeatedly indicated a lack of harm reduction information relating to chemsex in gay sexual contexts.
Treatment as Prevention Roadshow 2016
From 25 July to 4 August 2016, HIV Foundation Queensland facilitated the Queensland HIV Treatment as Prevention Roadshow 2016: A new era of HIV prevention and treatment. The roadshow included a series of accredited evening meetings alongside meetings during the day with Aboriginal Medical Services in eight locations across the state between Cairns and the Gold Coast. These meetings provided a unique opportunity for a wide variety of people to be updated on state, national and international policy and clinical developments in this rapidly evolving landscape.
Guest speakers were from the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), Positive Living BC, the South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Queensland Positive People (QPP), the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) and the Cairns Sexual Health Clinic.
Over 350 individuals attended the state wide meetings. The TasP Roadshow evaluated incredibly well with all learning objectives being met and a significant increase in participants feeling comfortable to promote and/or prescribe treatment as prevention. Highlights included the guest speakers and bringing the meetings to regional towns. This was described to enhance engagement and facilitate the strengthening of local networks. A wide variety of staff from services were also able to attend rather than only one key representative.
To read the full evaluation report, please click here.
In July 2014, the Foundation and the Queensland Department of Health signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE). The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding was to formalise collaborations in order to develop HIV strategies and research with a focus on treatment as prevention for a three year period.
Activities continue under the Memorandum of Understanding in 2016 and 2017.
HIVFQ is proud to have provided funding to assist Queensland Positive People with the development of “Talking about Treatment”. This is a series of five short films that convey the real stories of people living with HIV and their journey with treatment. These stories span the lived experience of people living with HIV from the past 30+ years of the HIV response; and represent just some of the diverse backgrounds and experiences in our community today.
Each of these films offer a unique and powerful perspective on the HIV treatment response over the decades – from the early treatment response during the AIDS crisis; to the introduction of anti-retroviral combination therapy; to the treatments of today which improve the individual health of people living with HIV and prevent HIV transmission.
Viewers can look forward to delving into the lives of a group of extraordinary people, people who are overcoming their challenges and living exceptional lives.
To watch these films CLICK HERE
The HIV Emergency Treatment Fund is a pilot program that will be available until 30 June 2017. The Fund provides emergency funding for HIV-related treatment and services to people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Queensland, who are experiencing financial hardship after all other avenues of support have been exhausted.
The fund is available for:
- Medicare eligible PLHIV, who are experiencing financial hardship that may cause delay or cessation of treatment such as the inability to pay for co-payments; and
- Medicare ineligible PLHIV who are experiencing financial hardship and unable to access HIV services, and early and ongoing HIV treatment.
To apply, please contact Queensland Positive People at www.qpp.org.au or (07) 3013 5555
HIVFQ has provided funding to Queensland Positive People (QPP) for the equivalent of a 0.2 FTE peer navigator (PN) to join the QPP Peer Navigation Program - a network of casual PLHIV staff from geographically diverse regions, gender, ethnic and cultural backgrounds to specifically support MI PLHIV across Queensland. Peer navigation is an early intervention model that improves early treatment uptake and adherence by supporting clients to navigate the complex environment of HIV care and treatment and increase health literacy. This enabled MI PLHIV to access HIV clinical care, initiate early treatment and support ongoing maintenance of treatment, whilst broader systemic access issues are supported and addressed through a case management response.
Peer navigators worked closely with QPP Life+ case managers to address access and financial issues including visa’s, online generic ordering and compassionate access schemes to ensure long-term sustainability of HIV treatment.
The peer navigator provided essential ‘on the ground’ support and HIV information, whilst the case manager advocated to ensure that every avenue for access to HIV treatment and services had been exhausted. This mechanism then acted as an entry point for component B.
stigma and discrimination
In May 2015, the Foundation formalised a valuable partnership with the Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) Australia with the signing of a memorandum of understanding and commitment to provide funding for a three year period.
The Positive Leadership Development Institute Australia is a unique community service and business partnership that aims to build the resilience and leadership capacities of people living with HIV in Australia. The Institute is an international collaboration with a similar program operating in Canada and is based upon the principles of the greater involvement and meaningful engagement of people living with HIV. The Institute is focused upon placing people living with HIV as central and vital in all aspects of the Institute's programs and services. The Positive Leadership Development Institute exists with the purpose of supporting people who are living with HIV/AIDS to realise their leadership potential and increase their capacity to participate meaningfully in community life.
HIVFQ is proud to be returning as sponsor of the 2017 MELT festival. MELT Festival is a celebration of both Queer arts and culture and the festivals deliver an amazing mix of music, cabaret, comedy, circus, visual arts and film.
As part of phase seven of the END HIV campaign, HIVFQ will be present during a number of key events to deliver a community activation aiming to raise awareness of, and start the conversation about discrimination and stigma against PLHIV on the mobile dating app Grindr.
In an effort to break down the stigma that affects those living with HIV, the HIV Foundation Queensland will be teaming up with Olympic silver medallist Ji Wallace in leading an expedition along the historic Kokoda trail. The event will take place in June of 2017. The team hiking the trail is a diverse group of PLHIV, peers & supporters as well as corporate representatives dedicated to tackling issues of discrimination head on.
END HIV campaign
In July 2013, the Queensland Department of Health launched the END HIV campaign. The campaign supports the United Nations 90-90-90 targets and the Queensland HIV Strategy. The Foundation assumed responsibility for coordination and delivery of the END HIV campaign in January 2015.
The key target audiences include:
- Whole of population
- People at risk of HIV including men who have sex with men
- People living with HIV
In April 2016, the END HIV campaign was re-evaluated to measure and determine the success of the campaign in addressing views surrounding prevention, treatment and stigma. This feedback and evaluation was then synthesised and implemented to develop the seventh phase of the campaign. This new phase was rolled out (as of November 2016) with refreshed branding, messages and creative. Prevention and testing messages are now in market through both traditional and digital channels. The stigma component remains in the preproduction phase with plans of a stigma campaign to roll out in March 2017.
CLICK HERE to visit the END HIV website.
Research and Grant Funding
HIVFQ is pleased to open its 2017 grant funding scheme to facilitate the establishment of collaborative teams comprising clinicians, researchers, policy makers and/or community based organisations that will support the creation of new knowledge and practice in HIV prevention, testing and treatment and/or will potentially attract future significant funding from NHMRC, research foundations, government, industry or donors.
There are two streams of funding available:
- Research and Program Grants for up to $80,000 (inc. GST) per annum for 12 months
- Workshop Grants for $5,000 per workshop. Please note that workshops requiring travel within regional, rural or remote Queensland will be considered for funding for up to $20,000.
Completed application forms and the CV of the Principal Investigator or Program Manager must be submitted by
9:00am on 23 January 2017 by email to [email protected] with the subject heading:
Research and Program Grants 2017 – (Surname of Principal Investigator/Program Manager).
For further information and application documents please click here.
For a review of past accepted grants, please visit this link.