The Us Mob & HIV and Taking a Look resources

The Us Mob & HIV and Taking a Look resources

HIV Australia | Vol. 13 No. 3 | December 2015

By Ben Wilcock

Us Mob & HIV is a new health promotion resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, produced by the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO).

Us Mob & HIV is a new health promotion resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, produced by the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO).

The pocket-sized booklet aims to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s knowledge about HIV and its impacts. Us Mob & HIV is the third edition of a resource originally published as HIV and Us Mob.

Previous editions continue to remain in high demand, demonstrating a clear need to maintain availability of a core HIV resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in a format that is culturally appropriate.

The booklet provides basic information on HIV, focusing on transmission, prevention, HIV testing, HIV treatments, health monitoring, care and support available for people with HIV, as well as service contact details.

Information on HIV treatments, testing and other topics has been updated for the revised edition and importantly, it provides a clear explanation of the concept of undetectable viral load.

The booklet includes a series of ‘yarns’ written by community members, designed to reinforce and personalise key health messages.

Information is also communicated in visual form, with artwork and illustrations by Indigenous artists Gary Dickinson and Arone Meeks.

The personal stories and illustrations create a sense of community ownership and help to ensure that the content is seen as relevant and engaging.

Hard copies of the Us Mob & HIV booklet are available from AIDS Councils in each state and territory, and are being distributed to many service providers including Aboriginal Medical Services.

Download a digital version of the booklet

Taking a Look

Gay men and other men who have sex with men continue to be the group most affected by HIV in Australia, with around three-quarters of new infections each year occurring among these men.

Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, men who have sex with men account for just over half of all new HIV diagnoses.

As younger men become sexually active, and as some older men come out, there is an ongoing need to provide concise and clear advice about the fundamentals of HIV prevention and gay sex.

With this in mind, AFAO has produced a fully revised edition of its booklet Taking a Look, providing up-to-date information on all the basics of HIV prevention for gay and bisexual men.

This new edition of the resource has also been produced as a website. The booklet aims to increase health literacy among gay and other men who have sex with men about HIV.

It includes information on HIV transmission and prevention, HIV testing and diagnosis, as well as information about how to prevent other sexually transmissible infections.

This second edition of Taking a Look features expanded information on range of options for HIV testing, prevention and treatment. Topics include information about how often to get tested, links to information on where to get tested and what the experience of having an HIV test is like.

It also contains information about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and postexposure prophylaxis (PEP). The booklet is not targeted to any specific gay community, Indigenous or non-Indigenous.

The new edition of Us Mob & HIV can be used as a complementary resource for health promotion among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Hard copies of Taking a Look are available from AIDS Councils in each state and territory and are being distributed to many service providers.

Download a digital version of the booklet or visit www.takingalook.org.au


Ben Wilcock is an HIV Health Promotion Officer at AFAO.