Best Practice Standards

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As part of the service delivery requirements held within the Service Agreement 2021-2026 between Queensland Positive People and Queensland Health, QPP became certified in the Human Service Quality Standards (HSQS) in January 2022.

QPP welcomed accreditation as a means to meet best practice standards and to demonstrate accountability processes to our communities and the people we work with.


The HSQS accreditation procedure is also designed as a continuous improvement framework to support QPP to achieve its commitment to on-going quality improvement. The framework is designed as a continuous improvement framework to support QPP to achieve its commitment to on-going quality improvement.

Certification against the Human Services Quality Standards (HSQS) is a three-year cycle with a mid-cycle maintenance audit.

What is Accreditation and why do we need it?

It is the independent acknowledgment that QPP meets the requirements of governing industry standards and:

The Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) is the assessment tool within the Human Services Quality Standards and is used by many organisations in Queensland.

The objectives of the HSQF are to:

  • review our management system and processes
  • determine our conformity with the standards
  • validate that the management system complies with all applicable elements of the HSQS
  • validate the organisation complies with its own policies and procedures.
  • Recognises our commitment to best practice, quality, high performing systems and processes, and continuous improvement.
  • Reassures QPP clients and stakeholders that we are committed to providing safe and quality service provision.
  • Assists QPP to grow, expand and solidify our future sustainability.
ASHM HIV/STI Conference September 2022
QPP is proud to be involved in the 2022 Joint Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference. A group of QPP staff members will be attending the event and will partake in the following activities: 1. CEO to be HIV Co-Convener for the conference. 2. Invited guest speaker for ASHM/ViiV/Gilead/RACGP National Roundtable; 3. Invited guest speaker – Retained in Care Living the Cascade; 4. Invited guest speaker – HIV Self-Testing – Opportunities and Implementation Challenges. 5. Co-chair of the Social Political and Cultural session ; 6. Invited as mentor of peer researcher in meet the expert’s lunch.
ASHM Lived Experience Project/Policy
QPP has engaged with ASHM to support the development of a lived experience policy and has informed strategies on how ASHM can utilise lived experience in their work. The policy has been finalised and will inform ASHM's work in the future.
Incorporating Quality of Life Into PLHIV Care
QPP continue to engage in the national working group to support the development of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS) through a developmental DELPHI method. A second DELPHI round of PROMs was conducted this year with an accepted poster being presented at the 2022 Joint Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference.
HIV Online Learning Australia (HOLA)
Is a program by AFAO and NAPWHA to bring together cross-jurisdictional collaboration to increase the knowledge and skills of our workforce. QPP participates in HOLA through Education Managers Forums to provide project governance and advisory input. In the last year, HOLA delivered several eLearning modules. Additionally, QPP is working with HOLA on a webinar for social isolation/loneliness.
CLIO (Cohort of HIV women)
QPP continues to participate in the advisory group through a community representative for the study which explores the needs of women with HIV.
Exploring the relationship between HIV literacy, risks, and networks of newly arrived Asian-born gay, bisexual, and MSM
QPP is proud to announce that an application to the Sexual Health Research Fund was successful. This application is in partnership with the University of Queensland, Ethnic Council of Communities Queensland (ECCQ) and Queensland Council of LGBTI Health (QC). This research will examine the HIV literacy and risks of Southeast Asian and Northeast Asian born gay, bisexual, and MSM (GBM) in Queensland; through the exploration of their networks post migration. With an increase in HIV diagnoses in this population group in Queensland, understanding the risks and literacy is a focus and priority for QPP. QPP’s PSC represents QPP on this research group and one of our PTFs is participating as a peer researcher.
QPP continues to participates in the national advisory group in the RISE study (recently diagnosed). The largest NHMRC grant of its type involving every state and territory health department and HIV organisation. The annual national meeting occurred in August with presentations on the key findings. 12 publications have either been published or are in draft form – QPP has co-authored one of these journal articles. The published research articles (and QPP) were also featured in the RACGP online newsletter this year.
Living Positive Queensland (LPQ)
During this reporting period QPP and UQ have finalised the Living Positive Queensland report and have subsequently developed 4 journal articles using the findings. QPP has completed the editing process and is meeting to finalise report recommendations; with a final publication date for the report to be set. An abstract for this report was submitted for the International HIV Ageing Conference in Boston in October 2022.
QPP partnered with QUT/ECCQ for a sub-study titled Reducing disparities for Australian culturally and linguistically diverse overseas-born people in relation to sexual health and blood-borne viruses. The Migrant Blood-borne Virus and Sexual Health Survey (MiBBS) was further distributed to QPP networks with significant numbers of QLD respondents. The report has been finalised and current papers are being planned.
LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl Brotherboy Ageing Research Working Group
QPP partook in a working group comprised of key researchers from USQ and UQ and key community stakeholders that developed a survey to investigate the research priorities for ageing LGBTIQ+ populations. The survey was finalised earlier this year with survey period extended to June 2022. The initial data analysis has commenced with preliminary data demonstrating that 27 respondents of the survey respondents identify as PLHIV. QPP will assist this process further by donating to support an research assistant to assist with additional data analysis.
HIV Narratives Project – QPP & USQ
QPP participates on a research group that has been exploring QPP’s Talking About’ series of films. The analysis has been drafted into an HIV narratives paper co-authored by QPP. QPP will be submitting this paper for additional journal publications.
Development of a National Curriculum for Peers
The National PLHIV Peer Workforce Development Project comprises a national forum for the PLHIV peer workforce, establishing a professional development curriculum (through an online training portal/module) for PLHIV peer support workers. The project, funded by ViiV and led by NAPWHA, will engage all PLHIV organisations in development and implementation of the project. Training participants will be able to obtain RPL whilst working in peer roles. All QPP Peer Navigators and EPM will be enrolled. QPP's Peer Services Coordinator is representing QPP on this work and further development of the curriculum has continued throughout the year.
W3 Project (La Trobe)
QPP is participating in the What W3 Project national working group to assist in the development of national key performance indicators for peer programs. A QPP co-authored paper on W3, titled "Tackling structural stigma: a systems perspective” was published this year, and a was poster accepted for the 2022 Joint Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference.
QPP have contributed to a co-authored journal article which was submitted during this reporting period titled: Assessing the sensitivity and usability of POZQoL, a short quality of life scale for people living with HIV, in Australian Community and Clinical Health Services.
NAPWHA HIV101 GP Project
QPP participates on the national reference group to support the development of an education/support module to assist GP’s giving a HIV diagnosis. The project is designed to improve the experience of people receiving a diagnosis of HIV from a GP.

Research & Evidence-making

HIV/STI Prevention and Testing

QPP is an active participant in research with state and national research institutions, government, and other community-based organisations.

Throughout the 2021/2022 financial year, RAPID has continued undertaking several novel research projects that continue to innovate within the sexual health space.

HIV treatment and care including research focused on the experiences of PLHIV include:

QPP would like to acknowledge our research partners across Australia and Queensland who partner and collaborate with QPP to build a better future for people with HIV.

We value research that demonstrates the impact of the services we provide and builds an evidence base to assist us to better understand the needs of our communities. Summaries of the projects QPP is involved are presented below.

The following co-authored abstracts/reports/articles were published this period:

Title: “They’re my go-to people”:A qualitative study of support networks for people recently diagnosed with HIV in Queensland. Published in the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

The following authored and co-authored abstracts were submitted to IAS:

  • Co-designing system level indicators for strengthening the quality and impact of peer led responses
  • Achieving long term community and research partnerships: system level benefits, enablers, and barriers
  • Queensland PLHIV Community Engagement: Linking GIPA principles with Quality of Life  (IAS and Asia Pacific Confernence

Title: “Tackling structural stigma: a systems perspective”. Published Journal of the International AIDS Society.


Title: “Belonging, social connection, and non-clinical care: Experiences of HIV peer support among recently diagnosed people living with HIV in Australia”, Published in Health & Social Care in the Community. 

Title: ‘Patient-centred approaches to providing care at HIV diagnosis: perspectives from healthcare and peer-support workers’. Published in Journal of Sexual Health. 

Title: “Enduring stigma and precarity: A review of qualitative research examining the experiences of women living with HIV in high income countries over two decades”. Published in Health Care for Women International. 

Title: “The spiral just keeps on going’: Cascading health and social issues for women living and aging with HIV”. Published in Women's Health.

Title: “Online HIV Self-Testing (HIVST) Dissemination by an Australian Community Peer HIV Organisation: A Scalable Way to Increase Access to Testing, Particularly for Suboptimal Testers”. Published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Title: “Peer Navigators role in supporting people living with HIV in Australia: qualitative exploration of general practitioners perspectives”. Published in Health and Social Care.

Abstracts/Posters Accepted for ASHM 2022:

  • PLHIV Community Engagement Linking GIPA principles with quality of life – accepted for an e-poster at Asia Pacific AIDS and Co Infections Conference 2022 (APACC) and a poster tour at ASHM 2022
  • HIV Associated Neurocognitive Disorder Screening and Diagnosis Pathways in Australia: A scoping review – accepted for an e-poster at AIDS 2022
  • Proving the power of peers: Creating a practical toolkit to enable peer/community-led organisations evaluate their work and better understand, demonstrate, and improve their impact. Petrina M Hilton, Graham Brown, Chris Howard, Tim Krulic, Jane Dicka, Adam Bourne
  • Incorporating Quality of Life Into Care for People Living with HIV (PLHIV): Developing a Consensus Tool of Health and Social Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) For Clinical and Community Services. Olekalns A, Mai C, Lloyd J, Cifali D, Howard C, Hoy J, O’Reilly M, Rule J, Brown G.
  • PLHIV community engagement: Linking GIPA principles with quality of life (oral poster). C. Howard, B. Allan, J. Badge. Queensland Positive People, East Brisbane, Australia, Qthink Consulting, Malmsbury, Australia.

This reporting period saw RAPID continue to broaden its geographical reach with a mail out self-testing program, distributing the Atomo HIV self-testing device across the state. The peer support component of the clinic was reworked to suit a telehealth modality, and peer testers provided sexual health education and health promotion messaging to clients over the phone. This program continued to be successful with targeting hard to reach populations, where a significant proportion of clients reported testing histories of greater than 12 months or not at all.

In regards to other projects, RAPID has continued with its chlamydia and gonorrhoea pooling research, operated our vending machine program that distributed Atomo HIV self-testing devices at a university campus and two sex on premises venues, continued to partner with Metro North Sexual Health and HIV Service to provide a bi-weekly treatment clinic at our Fortitude Valley site, and investigated male fertility outcomes from gonococcal and chlamydial upper reproductive tract infections.

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HIV and the law in Queensland

The scientific consensus  of Undetectable = Untransmissible U=U and other medical progress is not yet well-understood or recognised in the broader legal system. QPP has continued important lobbying and education work for the decriminalisation of HIV.

Framework for a decriminalised sex work industry in Queensland

The Queensland Government has committed to decriminalising the sex work industry. This means regulating sex work as work, not as a crime. The Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) has been asked to recommend what the framework for a decriminalised sex work industry should be.

QPP, in partnership with NAPWHA and HALC made a submission to the welcomed review and advocated for the decriminalisation of sex work in Queensland including:

  • a focus on the detriment that the criminalisation of sex workers poses to human rights and the HIV response in Australia;
  • a repeal of chapter 22A of the Criminal Code 1899, the Prostitution Act 1999 and sections of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 and   
  • The necessary review of the current public health laws, which specifically discriminate against and criminalise people living with HIV engaging in sex work.

Review of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Bill

QPP met with the Queensland Human Rights Commission with HALC and NAPWHA as part of the initial consultation phase and submitted a joint submission for the review. We advocated for:

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  • zzzzzzzzzextended, strengthened and clarified protections to ensure that PLHIV and everyone who needs protection under the Act was included;
  • a shift of focus to prevention of discrimination and harassment before it happens;
  • making the law easier to understand and apply by modernising the language and definitions; and
  • streamlining the complaints process to make it more flexible and efficient.  

The final report Building belonging: Review of Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 and recommendations have been tabled in Parliament and we await the Queensland Government’s response.

Staff Training and Development

To support this, we conducted the following training:

  • Whole-of-organisational sessions on the Anti-Discrimination Act and Unconscious Bias with the Queensland Human Rights Commission;
  • CALM Suicide Safety Training;
  • Workplace Health and Safety and Quality Systems; and
  • Team specific sessions such as clinical governance

At QPP, we know that our team are able to provide the highest possible level of care to our clients when they are engaged and informed.

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QPP will also support 21 staff and board to attend the Australasian HIV and Sexual Health Conference, which is being held  on the Sunshine Coast for the first time.

It is always a privilege to be able to attend these conferences, and our staff take the opportunity for professional development seriously.  The conference provides us with the opportunity to explore and engage with   contemporary research and discuss all things HIV with clinicians, policy makers, funders and researchers from around the country.  Several QPP staff will present their research and have been invited to speak at the conference.  

We have also applied for a grant from Gilead pharmaceuticals to host an exhibition booth, where we hope to distribute lots of information, sell our HIV I am Human T-shirts and merchandise and demonstrate our new HIV self-testing kits machine.  We all hope to make lots of worthy connections for future partnership opportunities.  All monies raised from the QPP shop will fund our community services.

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