Spring has sprung and we are well into the Queensland heat now. You may have heard we’re in a La Niña weather pattern this year, and while that does bring the prospect of cooler day times and more rainfall, it doesn’t reduce the risk of heatstroke, stay hydrated and stay cool!
Preparations are underway for the 2020 Annual General Meeting, if you missed the invitation or want to nominate visit qpp.org.au/latest/annual-general-meeting-notice for all the details!
QPP is excited to announce we’re joined by a new team member, Leilani, taking on the Stigma and Discrimination Case Manager role. Leilani has a legal background with a passionate interest in medical law and public health and enjoys books, good food, and heading to the beach in her downtime. If you need help with an HIV-related legal, stigma, or discrimination matter get in contact with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, chatting with one of our peer navigators on our website, or by submitting our self-referral form here.
In 2021 QPP will be undertaking an audit of our services and activities to improve our adherence to MIPA. For a long time QPP has been committed to the principles of Meaningful Involvement and Greater Engagement of People living with and Affected by HIV (MIPA & GEPA). The principles set out guidelines for ensuring communities most affected by HIV are actively involved in decision-making and in implementing all aspects of the HIV response.
At all levels, from the Board to program designs and outreach, we will be assessing, adapting, and evolving to ensure continuous commitment. Already QPP has put in place a new body, the Community Advisory Group, to ensure advocacy and representation activity for our most affected community members. The Community Advisory Group will lead this important work for QPP with the guidance of Brent Allan, principal of QThink Consulting. Most of you may know Brent as the former CEO of Living Positive Victoria, this among other significant positions he still retains in the community health and human services sectors. Brent is a renowned expert in HIV and LGBTIQ policy, with more than 25 years’ experience focusing on driving social change, enabling meaningful participation, and combating stigma and discrimination and we are delighted to be working with him again.
Community Advisory Group
Expressions of interest are still open for QPP’s Community Advisory Group (CAG). The CAG will be the first of its kind for a peer-led organisation in Australia and provides a much-needed platform to identify current and emerging community needs. It’s also a great opportunity to directly advise on strategic priorities in the areas of service delivery, advocacy, and health education/information. If you would like to be a part of the CAG or want to talk further about it please contact us by email email@example.com,au, or calling 07 3013 5555 and ask to speak to Glenn.
For all the details, visit qpp.org.au/qppcag
We are excited to announce that QPP will be supporting a pilot a series of workshop called “Positively Well”. In conjunction with Toowong Private Hospital and Communify, Recovery and Discovery Centre these workshops aim to support PLHIV living with depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. As this is a pilot project, there will be a limited intake region of the Brisbane North Primary Health Network area. We hope the workshops are a success so we can offer similar programs to other regions across the state. The workshops will run for six weeks on Thursday mornings 9:30 -11:30am beginning on the 05 November and finishing on 10 December. Some of the topic areas we plan to cover are Healthy Routines, Sleep, Self-Validation & Connection, Physical Health & Movement, and Life Skills & Life Balance. If you think this is something you could benefit from and you live in the Brisbane north area please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org,au or calling 07 3013 5555 and ask to speak to Glenn.
The Members’ Grill
A short time ago Mark Counter (President) and Melissa Warner (CEO) came along to one of QPP’s online Social Groups to chat with our community. Following its popular reception, we’re committing to a regular new event, The Members’ Grill, where Mark, Melissa, and others from QPP’s team will join with members of our community for a chat, to update you on what QPP’s been doing. Further details will be released by the end of the year, so keep your eyes peeled.
Not a member yet?
Joining is easy and free, visit www.qpp.org.au/members
Our social groups have been continuing well in an online format. In the month of September we were lucky enough to have a Q&A with President Mark and CEO Melissa as we celebrated World Gratitude day. This was a great chance to casually chat to QPP’s leadership around their hopes, visions and direction for our community.
Also in the last month we’ve been fortunate enough to partner with Living Positive Victoria’s Gen Next social group for young people living with HIV. This was a great opportunity for some of our young community members from both our states to get together and have a laugh and share about some of the experiences of lock down and to strengthen community spirit across borders.
At our next online social group we will be chatting with Abbie from the newly established TIM familes. TIM (The Institute of Many ) is Australia’s largest grassroots movement for people living with HIV and has recently branched out to create a safe space for families living with, or support loved ones with HIV. This will be a great chance to hear from Abbie about how it’s going and to see if you would like to get involved in the online community. The online chat will be on 19th October from 6-7. The link to register is here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMsd-uvrTsqGNeqaFwK7-m3faFJaQXAoCsO
Further to our English speaking online social groups we are excited to announce our first Swahili speaking group to launch next week on the 15th October from 430pm-530pm. If you would like to be involved or know of someone who would please contact us on 07 3013 5555 or email email@example.com and ask to speak to Max or Glenn.
This year has been challenging for a lot of services, including our RAPID HIV & STI Testing Clinic. However, shutting the doors for a short time during the COVID-19 lock down period gave that caterpillar time to pupate, and a beautiful butterfly emerged. If you haven’t popped in for a test in a while, or have seen the new website, now is the time. It looks great, well done to the RAPID Team.
Queensland World AIDS Day – 01 December 2020
It’s now only a few weeks away until we will be celebrating 2020 World AIDS Day Awareness Week, commencing on the 23 November, with World AIDS Day on 01 December.
World AIDS Day is still one of the most globally recognised events of the year and is celebrated across Australia to:
- Encourage the community to talk about HIV/AIDS
- Raise community awareness
- Break down barriers
- Educate our community
This year’s messaging, “Now more than ever”, acknowledges how many marginalised groups in Australian society have been hardest hit when there are pandemics, and the need to reach out and support those groups and communities more than ever.
“Now More Than Ever” highlights the importance of maintaining timely testing, diagnosis, and access to treatment, and in supporting and caring for those living with HIV.
Despite the needed priority of COVID-19, we still need to acknowledge PLHIV and ensure they are not forgotten, that we continue in our efforts to prevent HIV (PrEP, U=U, etc.), we remove barriers to testing and treatment, and that services are provided without judgment and stigma.
With that in mind, the Queensland World AIDS Day Alliance have complied 5 sub-messages based around the key message “Now more than ever” that can be used for individual campaigns:
Now more than ever we can all end stigma
- Now more than ever it’s time to remember
Now more than ever U=U is bringing us together
- Now more than ever testing is convenient
Now more than ever support is accessible
Don’t forget that it’s not too late to apply for funding for your World AIDS Day community events. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the https://www.qldworldaidsday.org.au/ website for further details.
There will also be resource packs available that will have customisable materials to assist with the promotion of your event.
Have you been keeping up with QPP’s latest blog?
COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works for a lot of people, especially people living with HIV balancing their general health care, comorbidities and medications against new the risks that COVID creates.
QPP’s Life+ team have been working hard to answer as many of the questions around COVID-19 & HIV as possible, with new blogs every 2-3 weeks. These blogs are reviewed by clinicians as appropriate to ensure you’re getting only the right information. Our latest blog with review by Dr Ken Koh (Holdsworth House), Cardiovascular Disease, COVID-19 and People with HIV, is available on our website now; check out the excerpt below:
People with co-morbidities are at an elevated risk of developing severe symptoms from COVID-19. This applies to both people with HIV and those without HIV. Cardiovascular disease is one of the more common comorbidities.
The good news is there are some things you can do to minimise your risks associated with COVID-19, HIV, and CVD.
You have probably heard of “cardiovascular disease” before, however, you may not know what this term refers to. Unlike COVID-19 or the common cold, cardiovascular disease is not contractable or transmissible. It’s actually an umbrella term for one of several different conditions that all affect the heart and blood vessels.
If you’d like to read more of this blog or check out others in the series, click the link below:
The HIV Emergency Treatment Fund is a program funded to provide emergency funding for HIV related treatment and services to all PLHIV in Queensland, who are experiencing financial hardship after all other avenues of support have been exhausted.
Queensland Positive People, the Queensland HIV Public Health Team or an HIV specialist clinician are required to fill in an application form on behalf of PLHIV, as this fund does not accept applications from individuals. Find out more >>
Statewide Online Social Group
For this session, we’ll have a chat with Abbie from TIM Families. TIM (The Institute of Many ) is Australia’s largest grassroots movement for people living with HIV and has recently branched out to create a safe space for families living with, or support loved ones with HIV. So, come and join us to hear more about this exciting movement on Monday 19th October at 6:00 – 7:00 pm!
QPP Honour Board
Don’t forget about nominating those special people, who have made great contributions to the community and QPP over the years, we’d love to hear from you.
Positive Women Victoria presents Our Stories: Ending HIV Stigma
“We are very excited to announce the launch of our brand new podcast, Our Stories: Ending HIV Stigma, a podcast about women, by women living with HIV in Australia, that challenges the myths and stereotypes that feed HIV stigma.
‘Their stories are real, unfiltered and always inspiring,’ says journalist and author, Heather Ellis, who is openly living with HIV and hosts each episode.
The series is a one-on-one conversation with women living with HIV, where amazing women share stories about their life goals, navigating sex and relationships, pregnancy and motherhood. They discuss what it means to be confident in this new era of U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable), and what this means for them.
Our Stories: Ending HIV Stigma is an initiative of Positive Women Victoria, Australia’s only community-based HIV organisation funded to provide peer support, information and advocacy specifically for women living with HIV. This project has been supported by an unrestricted grant from Gilead Sciences Pty Ltd. Further episodes of Our Stories will be available fortnightly.”
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