World AIDS Day 2015 – Far West LHD promoting awareness of HIV and AIDS

World AIDS Day, on 1 December, provides an important opportunity for us to remember those who have lost their lives to HIV and AIDS and to show support for people living with HIV.

NSW has made significant progress in increasing HIV testing, treatment uptake among people with diagnosed HIV and strengthening prevention efforts, although it is estimated that around14 per cent of people with HIV are undiagnosed. HIV can affect people of all ages, genders, races, and cultures. More people are testing and accessing support services than ever before, but there’s still more work to be done to ensure timely diagnoses and enable access to early treatment uptake, highlighting the need for people to test and test more often. HIV testing is easier and more accessible than ever before.

“The most effective way for people to protect themselves and their partners is to consistently use condoms with sexual partners and have regular HIV and STI testing,” said Jo Lenton, Clinical Nurse Consultant Far West Sexual Health/liver clinic.

“HIV testing leads to early detection and allows early uptake of treatment, which improves individual health and prevents transmission to others.”

Early treatment is a key to an effective response to HIV. Most people receiving treatment in Australia have a similar life expectancy to people without HIV. In NSW, over 90% of people with HIV attending public HIV and sexual health clinics are now on treatment.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity to address the HIV-related stigma that still persists in Australia, undermining prevention, testing and treatment efforts and causing social isolation for many people living with HIV.

Far West Local Health District will be promoting awareness about HIV and AIDS in the lead up to World AIDS Day on 1 December.

On Tuesday, 24 November, the Broken Hill Sexual Health/Liver Clinic in partnership with the Broken Hill GLTBI Support Group and Positive Life NSW, will be hosting the not-to-be-missed screening of “Holding the Man” at Silver City Cinema. The film starts at 5.15pm and tickets are $20 each. They can be pre-purchased from the following links or at the Silver City Cinema on the night:

https://www.tugg.com/events/76593

https://www.facebook.com/Broken-Hill-Sexual-HealthLiver-Clinic

“Based on the much loved and hugely successful memoir and stage play of the same name, Holding The Man is the warm, funny and extraordinary moving story of the 15 year long love affair between Timothy Conigrave and the boy he fell in love with at high school, John Caleo.

Tim was an aspiring actor. John was the captain of the school football team. Their relationship blossomed and endured in the face of everything life threw at it – pride diversity discrimination, temptation and loss – until the problem that love couldn’t solve, tried to destroy them”.

Positive Life representative Paul Caleo will be attending to share insight into the lived experience of HIV, and is the cousin of John, who is featured in the film.

For information on World AIDS Day, visit:

www.worldaidsday.org.au

For information on HIV and HIV testing, visit: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/HIV_AIDS.aspx

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