PATSIN: the Positive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Networkadmin
PATSIN: the Positive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Network
HIV Australia | Vol. 11 No. 3 | October 2013
By Ian Saunders
‘We are here right across Australia. Let’s support one another by yarning through our journey.’
HIV peer-support systems have been successfully operating within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities since the beginning of the Australian epidemic.
In June 2003, at a meeting in Adelaide, a group of positive brothers and sisters decided it was time to formalise this network.
That was when the Positive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Network (PATSIN) began. In October of the same year, by a special resolution, PATSIN became an associate member of the National Association of People With HIV Australia (NAPWHA).
PATSIN is unique as it is made up entirely of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are living with HIV. The group is currently at full capacity with ten active members.
The group meets face-to-face and by teleconference throughout the year. Meetings are funded and organised by NAPWHA.
Our network seeks to do its work through a consensus-oriented process. This means that discussion and debate continues until everybody is satisfied with a result, not just the majority.
By incorporating our perspective into the work of NAPWHA, the network provides the opportunity for HIV-positive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to advocate for change at a national level.
It also gives members the opportunity to network across their diverse communities; to identify best practice in health promotion; and to encourage the promotion of safe sex, safe needle use, HIV testing and early treatment.
Perhaps most crucial of all, PATSIN provides culturally appropriate peer support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with HIV.
We are committed to peer-based support and we have members in most of the states and territories of Australia.
Contact us via our email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning NAPWHA on Freecall ™ 1800 259 666.
PATSIN is currently planning our involvement in the Global Village at AIDS 2014.
We are also represented on the Australian Aboriginal Organising Committee that is assisting the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV/AIDS to host the Indigenous Pre-conference in Sydney on 18 and 19 July 2014.
Ian Saunders is Convenor of the Positive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Network (PATSIN).