These emails provide bite-size summaries of the latest evidence from key sexual health and blood-borne virus journals and reports with relevance to the Australian setting. We hope that these emails will save you time and help keep you on top of the latest evidence in your interest areas. SiREN regularly Tweets new research articles and reports, so follow us on Twitter.

If you or your organisation publish a report or journal article, let us know and we will share it as part of these emails. And don’t forget, if you are unable to access any journal articles or reports you can email us at and we will send you a copy.

News & Resources

Australia approves its first HIV self-test. The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) have released a fact sheet which provides information on the first HIV self-testing device (Atomo HIV Self-Test) in Australia. The test kit was approved for sale in Australia for the first time in late November 2018 and is expected to be available for sale in late March 2019. The information sheet provides information on who should be testing, what the test is, the accuracy, cost and stockists, and further information if a positive result occurs.

HIV in Western Australia: AFAO developed a background briefing paper to provide insight into the profile of HIV in WA. This paper is informed by the latest available research and epidemiological data on HIV in WA.

Second series of ‘Get the Facts’ videos. The Department of Health have released the second series of youth-focused videos which use sketch comedy to explore sex, identity and growing up. The videos also aim to inform and educate young people about specific topics such as pornography, sex and the media, and sexting.

Community Health Ethics Board Online Survey. The Australian Health Promotion Association is seeking participants for the Community Health Ethics Board (CHEB) online survey. Your input will contribute to the development of a community-based human ethics board for health promotion organisations across Australia. Complete survey before midnight, March 4.

International Family Drug Support Day. February 24 marks the fourth anniversary of the Family Drug Support Day which focuses on highlighting the need for families to not only be recognised and heard, but supported and encouraged to speak about their concerns and their needs. This day aims to reduce stigma and discrimination for families and drug users, promote family support and promote harm reduction strategies.

The WA Alcohol and Drug Interagency Strategy 2018-2022 release. The strategy provides a guide for government and non-government organisations as well as the wider community to develop and implement alcohol and other drug initiatives.

Men’s Alcohol and other Drug Prison WA. The WA government recently announced the expansion of four new prison units at Casuarina Prison to address overcrowding. The expansion will also include a unit dedicated to alcohol and other drug treatment for men; the first alcohol and other drug treatment prison for men in WA. The estimated completion is early 2020.


SiREN is available to assist you to prepare your conference abstract and presentation. Get in touch with us at

West Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector Conference. This conference will focus on the theme - Lead the Way, Challenge the Possibilities, Imagine the Future. The Conference will promote the journey of the sector so far, the successes along the way and plans for the future of Aboriginal holistic health care delivery. March 26-28, Fremantle.

National Rural Health Conference. National Rural Health Alliance. This conference focuses on improving health outcomes in rural and remote Australia. March 24-27, Hobart.

The International Union for Health Promotion and Education Conference. The theme of this conference is promoting planetary health and sustainable development for all and it will focus on the contribution of health promotion to the sustainable development goals. April 7-11, Rotorua.

Public Health Prevention Conference 2019. The conference theme is ‘Smashing the Silos’ and it will address the economics of prevention; and ask what is working, what needs to be strengthened and what are the biggest gaps in prevention systems. Abstracts open January 7. June 12-14, Melbourne.

Australian Viral Hepatitis Elimination Conference. This conference aims to build momentum towards elimination of viral hepatitis in Australasia. The conference will focus on increasing diagnosis/testing, improving models of care, treatment, paradigms, and reinfection strategies; as well as evaluate the status of the Australasian section in working towards the 2030 WHO elimination goals. August 5-6, Sydney.

2019 Australasian HIV and Sexual Health Conferences. After nearly 10 years, Perth will again host these conferences. The Sexual Health Conference will be held from September 16-18 and the HIV Conference will be held from the September 17-19. Be sure to save the date now! Abstracts will open in February and registrations in March.

International Evaluation Conference. Call for conference proposals is now open. With the future-focused theme of evaluation un-boxed, AES encourage stories about opening up evaluation to end users, and drawing on the knowledge of communities and other disciplines to expand evaluation and ensure its ongoing relevance. September 16-18, Sydney.

Training & Seminars

NDRI Seminar – Drug Trends in WA. On behalf of the National Drug Research Institute, James Fetherston and Jodie Grigg will present the findings from the 2018 Illicit Drug Reporting System survey and the 2018 Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System project. February 28, Curtin University.

Mooditj Leader Training. SHQ. Mooditj Leader Training is designed for Aboriginal community members or people who work with Aboriginal young people in their community. This four day course strengthens knowledge, skills and confidence to run the Mooditj program for groups of young people in the community. March 5-8.

Boundary Setting and Protective Behaviours. SECCA. This workshop introduces a social circle concept – an educational strategy that will assist anyone who wants to understand these skills more themselves or for people who work with people building and understanding their own skills. It will demonstrate how this strategy can be developed to give people with disabilities an understanding of personal boundaries. March 7, West Perth.

Opening Closets workshop for alcohol and other drugs (AOD). Living Proud. This half day workshop aims to increase awareness and knowledge of the unique needs of LGBTI people, explore key concepts and models for understanding diverse sexualities, sex and gender, and improve understanding of AOD use within LGBTI populations. March 7, Hilton.

Introduction to monitoring and evaluation. The Australian Evaluation Society are running this one-day workshop which introduces participants to basic concepts related to evaluating projects and programs. The workshop is designed to de-mystify the evaluation process exploring such topics as: fit for purpose evaluation processes and approaches; interpreting data and producing findings; engaging with stakeholders; the nature and use of evaluation; ethics in evaluation; and key issues and trends in the field of evaluation. March 8.

Online Health Promotion 12 Week Course: Planning, implementing and evaluating health promotion interventions. This flexible 12-week online course will provide individuals with an understanding of the role and importance of health promotion and the broader concept of health within a community and national settings. The course aims to provide individuals with the skills needed to plan, implement and evaluation a health promotion program. March 18 – June 16, online.

Nuts and Bolts of Sexual Health. SHQ. This three-day course focuses on working with young people around relationships and sexual health. Nuts and Bolts develops the core knowledge, attitudes and skills required to provide information and support for young people around respectful relationships and sexual health issues. April 9-11.

The RSE Project Symposium. This event invites interstate and international experts in the field to share their knowledge and experience with relationships and sexuality education in schools. Teachers are informed of the latest research, knowledge and issues as well as practical ideas to take back to the classroom or implement as a whole school strategy. Registrations are not yet open, email to be added to their mailing list. July 1, Curtin University.

Relationships and Sexuality Education in Schools Professional Development. This free 2-day workshop will assist you to plan, implement and assess effective relationships and sexuality education in school settings. September 26–27, Curtin University.

Grants & Scholarships 

Sexual Health post-graduate scholarship. The Department of Health is offering two scholarships to assist post-graduate or honours degree students undertake applied research and evaluation of sexual health and/or blood-borne virus related projects commencing in 2020. Applications close October 30.

Ideas Grants: The National Health and Medical Research Council Ideas Grants will open on March 6. The Ideas Grant scheme aims to support innovative and creative research projects addressing a specific question in any area of health or medical research. Applications close May 8.

Aurora Internship Program - applications open. The Aurora Project continues to focus on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and graduates via internships as pathways to jobs in Indigenous organisations and other organisations working in the Indigenous sector. The overall aim of the program is to facilitate individual professional development by building career experiences and opportunities in the sector, and to strengthen the capacity of Indigenous sector organisations by attracting and retaining talented Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.