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Meeting the needs of Aboriginal people at risk of acquiring HIV and living with HIV in New South Wales, Australia in a non Aboriginal community organisation
M. Grose, S. Scott, C. Cooper
Issues: ACON is a non-Indigenous NGO that has had an Aboriginal Project since 1997. ACON is re-orienting itself to increase Indigenous access via the implementation of an Organisational Action Plan for ACON’s Work with Aboriginal People 2008 – 2011.
Indigenous people comprise 2.5% of the Australian population and 6% of ACON clients.
HIV diagnoses are more widely distributed across transmission modes among Indigenous people with a higher proportion of infections being attributed to injecting drug use and heterosexual transmission, although male homosexual sex is associated with the largest proportion of infections.
AIDS diagnoses among Indigenous people is 2.3 per 100 000 compared to 1.1 per 100 000 in non Aboriginal people.
Indigenous people require HIV services that are culturally appropriate and accessible.
Description: Australian Indigenous people experience health inequalities resulting in an average age of mortality 17 years younger than the general population. Standard strategies for HIV don’t fit so well with Indigenous people.
Through the reorientation of services ACON aims to:
· Increase Aboriginal people’s access to all ACON programs and services
· Increase the relevance of ACON health promotion to Aboriginal people
· Strengthen relationships and partnerships
· Support other stakeholders
· Improve ACON´s Aboriginal-specific programs
This case study provides a model for mainstream organisations working with Indigenous peoples of their own country.
· Organisations need to provide a framework that appropriately meets the needs of Indigenous people, not just delegate to Indigenous employees
· Consultation and partnerships with the target community and key partners is an essential component to the work
· Organisational frameworks need to link with and inform broader policy and advocacy responses
Next steps: Action Plan implementation needs to be regularly monitored, with an annual progress review. Evaluation findings are consistently incorporated, with a report produced including recommendations for future work.
Abstract no. WEPE0382
“M.Grose, et al. Meeting the needs of Aboriginal people at risk of acquiring HIV and living with HIV in New South Wales, Australia in a non Aboriginal community organisation. : : Abstract no. WEPE0382 “