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LIVE From ASHM 2017 – HIV Cure

Currently, there is a lot of chatter about HIV Cure.  What role do HIV positive people play in the research for a cure?  Are there different types of Cures? Why would I want to participate in cure research? Realistically, how far away is a cure for HIV?

These questions and so much more were discussed during the 2017 ASHM Conference in Canberra.

In this podcast, recorded live on 7 November 2017, Professor Sharon Lewin from the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, discusses some of the challenges that researchers face in their search for an HIV cure.  Also on the discussion panel are, Cipri Martinez, President of NAPWHA, Dr Rowena Johnston, Vice President of amfAR and Dr Robert Page, an S100 GP from Sydney.  Moderating this discussion is Heath Paynter from the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.

Find out more about HIV Cure research.

BREAKING: Aussie Researchers Confirm U = U for Gay Men.

In the largest study of its kind, UNSW’s Kirby Institute conducted research with gay men in a sero-different relationship (where one partner is HIV positive and the other negative) from 2012-2016.

The findings of the Opposites Attract Study reveal, nearly 17,000 acts of anal sex without a condom took place.  Not one case of HIV transference took place.

We cross to the conference in Paris to speak with Professor Andrew Grulich from the Kirby Institute for this breaking news.

One of the study participants, Andrew Thorpe, shares how important this research was for him as the negative partner in a sero-different relationship.

We then head back to Paris as the Executive Officer of Living Positive Victoria, Brent Allen, brings us up-to-date with the latest from the conference.

Christabel Millar

The English Rose

Christabel MillarImagine arriving in a new country at 21 years of age, no friends, little family, dealing with a mental health condition and then being told you are HIV positive. Our guest found herself in that position over 8 years ago.

Today she is the youngest women to ever be on the board of directors for Living Positive Victoria and was recently appointed the Health Promotions and Communications Coordinator for Positive Women.

She is one of the new breed of inspirational voices in Australia’s HIV response. Softly spoken, super smart and gentle to the core, she is elegant, polite and proper. But don’t be fooled, she is no push over.

Meet the English rose whose softness is the foundation of her resilience and determination, meet the amazing Christabel Millar.

To contact Christabel at Positive Women email:  healthpromotion at positivewomen dot org dot au

Love, Happiness and Luck.

Double HappinessVictoria’s Health Minister Jill Hennessy launched the Double Happiness campaign last year, promoting the transformative potential that biomedical advances in science can have in the HIV response.

But is an unfunded, community campaign enough to deliver no new HIV infections in Australia?

The AMAZING Cath Smith heads to Melbourne’s Gay nightclub Sircuit to ask positive and negative people, what impact TasP and PrEP are having in their lives.

The Making of a Leader

John Manwaring at AIDS 2014

John Manwaring representing Australia’s positive population at the conclusion of AIDS 2014

For ex gay survivors and positive people that have struggled with their sexuality and faith, John Manwaring’s story is inspirational.

Born and raised a Mormon, John moved from the USA to Australia over 8 years ago, for love.

Since then he has volunteered and worked for both Living Positive Victoria and the Victorian AIDS Council while studying law.

John is an extraordinary orator – powerful, emotional, evocative and inspirational, he has the ability to command the attention of stadium and bring a tear to all eyes therein.

It was John who was selected to speak on behalf of HIV positive people at the conclusion of AIDS 2014.

Recently John was appointed by the Andrew’s Labor Government as a senior policy adviser for the HIV response in Victoria.

Sero Stories with Ian Down

Ian Down Sero Study

Ian Down from The Kirby Institute – UNSW

When it comes to knowing who, what where, how and why gay men in Australia become HIV positive, very few people know more than Ian Down.

Ian is a research associate behind the Sero Conversion Study Report, conducted by the Kirby Institute at the UNSW in Sydney.

The Seroconversion Study has existed in various forms since 1992, providing valuable insights into the lives of people recently diagnosed HIV-positive. It has charted the sexual behaviours, activities, relationships and attitudes of (mostly) gay men, as they come to terms with the reality of living with HIV.

Over the decades, it is this report that has informed policy-makers, guided health communicators and provide information to aid the development of targeted responses to those living with, affected by HIV.

inside HIV’s Dean Beck was asked to write a preface in this, the latest – and the last – sero conversion report.  A pdf of the report can be found here.

With TasP and PrEP transforming Australia’s HIV response, the Government’s decision to no longer fund this stud is difficult to comprehend.

Funding submissions to continue the sero conversion study have twice been refused by Government.

However, last December the Kirby Institute lodged a third submission to Government for funding. A decision is expected by the middle of 2017.

Ian Down will submit his PhD thesis this week.  We wish him all the very best.

HIV and Ageing – Part 2

Immunology and Ageing

Immunology and Ageing: lessons learnt for HIV. Moderated by Prof Sharon Lewin at the International Congress of Immunology, August 2016.

With over 35 million people living with HIV globally, public health systems will need to quickly adapt to meet the needs of this population as they age, and more science, especially in the area of immunology, is required to inform this response.

Globally there is a real push to do further research to understand the effects of HIV and aging on the immune system.  In August of 2016, 4000 of the world’s leading immunologists assembled in Melbourne for the International Congress of Immunology.

At the invitation of the moderator, Professor Sharon Lewin from the Doherty Institute, inside HIV was there to capture a special conversation featuring a panel of experts that included; Dr Alan Landay, Professor Tony Kelleher, Professor Suzanne Crowe AM, Professor Carl June and Bill O’Loughlin.

By 2020 there is estimated to be some 30 000 Australians living with HIV and more than half of them will be over 50 years of age.

If you missed Part 1, where Dr Clovis Palmer delivered the key note address at a special symposium on Immunology and Aging – please check it out.

HIV and Ageing – Part 1

Dr Clovis Palmer

Dr Clovis Palmer from the Burnet Institute delivering the key note address – Immunology and Ageing; lessons learnt for HIV

We know that aging with HIV is not the same as aging without HIV and that the virus makes fundamental changes to the immune system.

Half of Australia’s positive people are over 50 years old – as long-term survivors their experience of living with HIV for 25, 30 even 35 years – means that the effects of the virus and the long-term effects of some medications, are compromising their health and wellbeing.

These people experience a greater risk of age-related conditions – things like cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, kidney and liver disease, osteoporosis and cognitive impairment, years before those living without HIV.

By 2020, there is estimated to be 30,000 Australians living with HIV. The latest research suggests that while combination antiretroviral therapy has meant positive people can live longer lives, the average lifespan of those 30,000 people will be five years less than those who don’t have HIV.

In August of 2016, 4000 of the world’s top immunologists came to Melbourne for the International Congress of Immunology.  At the invitation of Professor Sharon Lewin from the Doherty Institute, inside HIV went along to a special symposium revealing some of the latest science around Immunology and Ageing.

In this, Part 1, you’ll hear Professor Lewin introduce the key note address from one of Australia’s leading researchers, Dr Clovis Palmer from the Burnet Institute.

Be sure to check out Part 2 where an extraordinary panel of the World’s best, discuss HIV and Ageing.


Dean Beck

inside HIV host Dean Beck

Award winning journalist Mark Kearney interviews inside HIV host Dean Beck for an article that featured on page 4 of the Bendigo Advertiser on December 1, 2016 – World AIDS Day.

The last time Dean featured in the Bendigo Advertiser was over 30 years ago – he was just 15, and had won the Bendigo Easter Fair Student Designer Fashion Parade.

This is the interview, literally as it unfolded.  Read Mark’s article here.

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