Chris Bourne followed with an overview of the work being undertaken in NSW to address some of the issues around equity of access, including the NSW HIV testing “Discreet Life” campaign to target less community connected/visible MSM including those from CALD backgrounds and those who identify as heterosexual. Programs for international students were also described and had been outlined by others earlier in the conference.
The other difficult to reach group touched on in this session were Australian (mainly men) who travel to areas of high HIV prevalence. Gemma Crawford presented her data from the Curtin university on Australian ex-pats and travellers to Thailand which identified some opportunities to intervene with this group including online forums and travel medicine providers.
The main take home messages from this session were clearly communicated by Roanna Lobo in the final presentation – “We know what needs to be done”, we just “need to do it”. We have been incredibly successful in orchestrating a coordinated response in the past to the HIV epidemic in this country with meaningful engagement with and representation from affected communities. It is time to turn our attention to these emerging population groups and undertake similarly effective strategies here. What is urgently required is leadership and resourcing. It is definitely time for these issues of equity to take centre stage.
Author bio: Sharon is the Clinical Nurse Consultant for HIV & Sexual Health at St George Hospital, Sydney, NSW.