Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Communities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

AFAO supports the AFAO membership’s engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the development of culturally appropriate and sensitive responses to HIV and sexual health issues.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities continue to face significant public health issues and challenges around BBVs and STIs. The Fourth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Blood Borne Virus and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy 2014 – 2017 seeks to address those challenges.

AFAO’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy work is framed by the priorities set out in the Strategy, including by:

  • monitoring issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gay men and sister-girls in the light of the particular vulnerabilities in gay and Indigenous populations
  • ensuring that analysis of how best to address those issues is included in AFAO’s policy submissions and discussion papers
  • developing, in partnership with the Anwernekenhe National HIV Alliance, health promotion campaigns targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • providing advice to the federal government and its advisory bodies, and to Commonwealth departments, on emerging HIV and BBV prevention, treatment, care and support issues faced by people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • producing discussion papers to support the ANA in its policy and community development work around significant issues

The Eora Action Plan, launched in July 2014 in Sydney at the Indigenous Pre-Conference to AIDS 2014, is a charter for the response to HIV among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The Eora Action Plan sets out some clear strategies and goals. The goals are to:

  1. Reduce the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by 50%
  2. Eliminate all mother to child transmissions among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  3. Ensure antiretroviral treatments are available and accessible and correctly utilised by 80% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with HIV
  4. Move toward reducing rates of other STIs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by 50%
  5. Reduce rates of sharing injecting equipment by 50% among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who inject drugs.

 

Download AFAO’s Briefing Paper:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community input and the HIV response

This briefing paper summarises key points about the impact of HIV on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their response to HIV, including information about the Anwernekenhe National HIV Alliance (ANA), the 7th National HIV strategy, and the Eora Action Plan.

 

Resources

AFAO has published two special editions of our flagship publication, HIV Australia, on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues. Both editions were produced in collaboration with guest editors James Ward and Michael Costello-Czok.

The most recent, Fire in the Belly, published in December 2015, celebrates the history and the future of the community-led response to HIV among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The previous edition, Respect and Resilience, published in October 2013, focused on current and emerging HIV-related issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities.