'The South Australian African
Communities health advisory
Committee (SAACHAC) is making a
difference'
Dr Lillian Mwanri
Ma...
The Context
• People born outside of Australia and with cultural
backgrounds are overrepresented in new wave of HIV
DX
• N...
The Context
• A strategic Document titled “HIV Prevention in culturally
and linguistically Diverse Communities in South Au...
Who is SAACHAC?
• SAACHAC is made of 15 leaders from the
diverse African Communities
• They are of different ages, genders...
Achievements:
• Had 6 meetings so far
• Agreed on a very ambitious Terms of reference
• Provided advice to SA health
• Con...
Why do we need to address stigma?
• Stigma surrounding HIV is a significant challenge in
African communities
• Culture pla...
Challenges
– How can we as leaders and elders speak publicly
about those taboo topics and not jeopardise our
credibility?
...
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'The South Australian African Communities health advisory Committee (SAACHAC) is making a difference'

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This presentation discusses the establishment, challenges and achievements of SAACHAC. Advisory committee members Dr Lillian Mwanri and Mabok Marial lead the discussion with PEACE Multicultural Service Manager Enaam Oudih at the nder the Baobab African Diaspora Networking Zone at the International AIDS Conference, AIDS 2014.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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'The South Australian African Communities health advisory Committee (SAACHAC) is making a difference'

  1. 1. 'The South Australian African Communities health advisory Committee (SAACHAC) is making a difference' Dr Lillian Mwanri Mabok Marial Uduma Idika Enaam Oudih
  2. 2. The Context • People born outside of Australia and with cultural backgrounds are overrepresented in new wave of HIV DX • Newly diagnosed – are changing the HIV face – Not sex workers and intravenous drug users – More Heterosexual transmission – More overseas transmission – Potentially face additional stigma and discrimination on the basis of characteristics such as race, ethnicity and refugee status • The Kirby Institute http://www.kirby.unsw.edu.au; • Hawke, et al, (2012) • CHIP (2012) • McPherson et al. (2011)
  3. 3. The Context • A strategic Document titled “HIV Prevention in culturally and linguistically Diverse Communities in South Australia 2012-2016” was developed in 2012 • This strategic document was based on evidence from the literature, surveillance data and community responses • African community was amongst the priority populations • PEACE Multicultural Services of Relationships Australia SA heavily consulted with the South African Communities leaders who anonymously advised that an advisory forum is needed to help leading agencies in the implementation • Key individuals were selected and interviewed to assess their interests and ideas of what this group should look like
  4. 4. Who is SAACHAC? • SAACHAC is made of 15 leaders from the diverse African Communities • They are of different ages, genders, education level and skills and roles in community • They are all voluntary involved • They are one year old • Meet bi monthly • Fully supported by PEACE Multicultural services
  5. 5. Achievements: • Had 6 meetings so far • Agreed on a very ambitious Terms of reference • Provided advice to SA health • Contributed to the development of health resources that are culturally appropriate • Helped PEACE develop an annual plan • Currently working on 2 big projects. One for service providers to address cross cultural issues and one for Community to help address stigma and discrimination
  6. 6. Why do we need to address stigma? • Stigma surrounding HIV is a significant challenge in African communities • Culture plays a key role in preventing people from being tested, treated, or even being informed because in most cultures HIV is a taboo subject. • Africans who are HIV positive may experience multiple forms of stigma relating to their disease , ethnicity and race • stigma relating to HIV status from within their communities may produce yet another overlapping dimension of stigma
  7. 7. Challenges – How can we as leaders and elders speak publicly about those taboo topics and not jeopardise our credibility? – How can we address issues of stigma? – How can we engage PLHIV? – How can we create the future leaders for HIV prevention? The young people – How can we improve voluntary testing?

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