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Priority actions for Addressing HIV among mobile and migrant communities

 

What is it?

HIV diagnoses in Australia have been increasing among people travelling to and from high HIV prevalence countries. The Seventh National HIV Strategy (2014- 2017) states people and their partners who travel to or from high HIV prevalence countries, as well as travellers and mobile workers as priority populations in Australia.

In 2014, the HIV and Mobility: Road Map for Action, was the first attempt to capture what we know about HIV and mobility. It proposed 71 strategies across a range of stakeholders to operationalise the recommendations from the Seventh National HIV Strategy (2014-2017). A Community of Practice for Action on HIV and Mobility (CoPAHM) was born in 2015 to keep HIV and mobility on the national agenda and to monitor momentum. While some progress has been made, some key strategies are yet to be met.

The key goal in the current National HIV Strategy is to virtually end HIV transmissions by 2020, ensuring no one is left behind. Despite many successes, there remains challenges we need to resolve to see this achieved. While other key documents outline approaches to addressing HIV more broadly, there is a need for strategies that specifically addresses migrants and travellers. These sub-groups have different contexts, and thus, require approaches that are considerate of their diversity.

Where are we heading to?

This work seeks to identify priority actions for addressing HIV among mobile and migrant communities living in and travelling to and from Australia and create an operational plan for federal and state governments, non-government organisations, community groups and research institutes to work together. We hope to achieve a document with consensus from organisations working in HIV that demonstrates a shared commitment to the priority actions and the activity required to address them.

Proposed strategies

  1. Understand and reduce barriers to HIV testing and make new testing technologies widely available
  2. Ensure equitable access to preventative biomedical interventions including PrEP and PEP
  3. Increase health literacy of the HIV workforce and priority migrant and mobile populations to understand and access combination prevention strategies available
  4. Reform policies to provide universal access to HIV treatment, including for temporary visa holders who are ineligible for Medicare
  5. Report on and harmonise surveillance for both migrant and mobile populations, including sexual behaviour, testing rates, notifications, and initiation of treatment
  6. Develop core indicators to assess effectiveness of HIV programs for mobile and migrant populations
  7. Relevant jurisdictions to plan and implement state-specific responses to HIV in migrant and mobile population

What are we asking for?

We are now seeking feedback on the proposed actions. Tell us:

  • if you agree or disagree with these priority actions;
  • what activity (at a community, state and federal level) is required to address these actions;
  • what outcomes do we expect to see over the next five years.

To provide feedback, or to stay up to date with the document as it progresses, email copahm@curtin.edu.au by 24th of November.

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