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ASHA sexual health quarterly newsletter

Welcome to the Spring 2015 edition of the ASHA Quarterly Sexual Health Newsletter!

This 3-monthly newsletter provides a consolidated update on the latest sexual health events, sector news, research and opportunities. Please send comments or requests to For more information about ASHA go to



Picture: Dr Bateson awards prize to Megan Lim

Mid-Career Interdisciplinary Achiever Award Winner 

ASHA congratulates Dr Megan Lim, Senior Research Fellow at the Burnet Institute, who was presented with the inaugural ASHA 2015 Mid-Career Interdisciplinary Achiever Award in recognition of her outstanding interdisciplinary achievements in sexual health. 

Dr Lim's work with social media and mobile technologies in relation to the sexual development of young people and, more recently, sex workers in Kenya, demonstrates outstanding collaborative leadership and advocacy in the field of sexual health. 

The award was presented by Dr Deborah Bateson, ASHA Chair, at the 2015 World STI & HIV Congress in Brisbane on 16 September 2015. 

Picture: ASHA Social Event

ASHA Social Networking Event

The 2015 ASHA Social Networking Event, held at the World STI & HIV Congress was a great success, with over 100 tickets sold and delegates coming together to meet and mingle with their colleagues from around the world. ASHA would like to thank you all for attending, and we hope you enjoyed the evening as much as we did. Photos from the event can be found on the conference website.

2016 Australasian Sexual Health Conference

14-16 November 2016, Adelaide SA
Join us at the 2016 ASHA conference in South Australia! Emerging technologies, environmental challenges such as emerging antibiotic resistance, changing work practices and the persistence of sexual health inequalities all point to the need for adopting an interdisciplinary approach to 'Rethinking Sexual Health' research and practice – every presenter will be asked to consider how we should be ‘rethinking sexual health’. 
More details to follow shortly from our expert conference and scientific committees. 
Picture: FAMSACA Logo

ASHA Collaborator Spotlight: FAMSACA

ASHA exists as a group of partner organisations. Each new edition of the ASHA newsletter will feature a spotlight on one of our partner organisations. This edition’s feature organisation is FAMSACA – the Forensic And Medical Sexual Assault Clinicians Australia.  

FAMSACA is a national organisation for clinicians providing medical and nursing sexual assault care (including forensic management) in Australia. Most sexual assault examiners are, by training, GPs, Sexual Health Physicians, Gynaecologists or women’s health/sexual health nurses.

The management of sexual assault varies between Australian jurisdictions and FAMSACA seeks to provide umbrella leadership on the structure and provision of sexual assault care and on professional standards and training needed for forensic medical examiners.

There is a gap in access to sexual assault services especially for disadvantaged groups and rural/regional communities and FAMSACA seeks to address this through training and support of regional providers.  It is also important to identify and address barriers to access healthcare for survivors of sexual assault, as these are a patient group with chronic ill health and multiple medical needs.

FAMSACA disseminates information to its members and fosters communication through a listserv. FAMSACA also hold a two-yearly conference. For more information visit the FAMSACA website


Training and Events

Working with Transgender and Gender Diverse Clients

Coffs Harbour NSW, 2-3 November 2015
The Harbour Therapy Clinic is offering a two-day workshop in Coffs Harbour, NSW, for those working in the medical and mental health sector wanting to engage with transgender, transexual and gender diverse clients.

Social Research Conference on HIV, Viral Hepatitis & Related Diseases

Sydney NSW, 31 March - 2 April 2016
The Centre for Social Research in Health will host the 14th Social Research Conference on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Related Diseases. Scholarship applications are now open. Abstract submissions close 2 November 2015. 

Global Female Condom Conference

Durban, South Africa, 1-3 December 2015
The Universal Access to Female Condoms Joint Program, together with 3 international partners, will be hosting the 3rd Global Female Condom Conference, with this years theme ‘Initiate, Innovate, Integrate’.

Sector News

Picture: World STI & HIV Congress

World STI & HIV Congress Presentations

Presentations from the 2015 World STI & HIV Congress can now be viewed on the conference website. The Congress was held 13-16 September 2015, back to back with the Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference.  
Picture: SDG logo

Gollow Lecture: A new sustainable development agenda

The Gollow Lecture at the opening plenary of the World STI & HIV Congress highlighted the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set to replace the Millennium Development Goals which will expire this year. Prof Helen Rees highlighted the need to strengthen and promote sexual health under the new SDGs, linking STIs to goals 3, 5, 10 and 17. 
Picture: Kirby Surveillance Report

Australia’s annual report card on HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections

ASHA welcomes the launch of The Kirby Institute’s 2015 Annual Surveillance Report of HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia and the 2015 Aboriginal Surveillance Report of HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs. The reports are an annual review of available surveillance data pertaining to the occurrence of HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia.
Picture: CSRH Annual Report of Trends in Behaviour

CSRH Annual Report of Trends in Behaviour

The Kirby surveillance reports were released alongside the UNSW Centre for Social Research in Health's Annual report of trends in behaviour 2015: HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia, providing a snapshot of behavioural and social research for various affected population groups, including people living with HIV and/or hepatitis C, gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and young people.
Picture: VIC PDPT Guidelines

Patient Delivered Partner Therapy Guidelines Released

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has released Patient Delivered Partner Therapy (PDPT) Guidelines for Chlamydia. PDPT describes the practice in which treatment is prescribed for the sexual partner/s of an index patient diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, as well as the index patient.
Picture: UNDP Blueprint

Provision of Comprehensive Care for Trans People and Trans Communities in Asia and the Pacific

The UNDP have recently released the Blueprint for the Provision of Comprehensive Care for Trans People and Trans Communities in Asia and the Pacific. This publication outlines the priority health care needs and human rights issues for transgender people in the Asia Pacific region.
Picture: WHO ART PrEP Guidelines

New WHO ART and PrEP Guidelines

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently released an updated guideline on when to start ART and PrEP for HIV. The guideline recommends that countries offer life-saving treatment to all people with HIV, including the preventative use of tenofovir. 
Picture:Ban Ki-moon

Ban Ki-moon commits to fighting LGBT discrimination

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke at the a high level LGBT event, reaffirming his dedication to fighting LGBT discrimination. Mentioning the Sustainable Development Goals, he spoke of one guiding principle; to leave no one behind, stating “we will only realise this vision if we reach all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Picture: ASHM logo

ASHM Name Change

ASHM has changed its name from the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine to the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine. The acronym (ASHM) and logo will remain the same. ASHM has worked in the HIV, viral hepatitis and sexual health space for many years. This new name enables ASHM to promote its work to the viral hepatitis and sexual health workforce directly, rather than through the lens of HIV.
Picture: Your Cultural Lens

Your Cultural Lens - Online Training Package

The metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and the WA Department of Health have developed an online training package for health professionals working with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. The online training is free and focuses on communication around sexual health with CALD clients. 

About ASHA

The Australasian Sexual Health Alliance (ASHA) is a group of organisations with an interest in sexual health, formed to facilitate multidisciplinary collaborations to support the Australasian sexual health workforce. ASHA works to improve national and local responses to sexual health issues, via a multidisciplinary support network and aims to strengthen bonds between specialists, GPs, nurses, researchers and other key contributors to the sexual health sector, through collaboration in sexual health education, training, policy-making and research.

ASHA is a committee formed under s51 of the constitution of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM). ASHM provides much of ASHA’s infrastructure including the provision of secretariat, technical support, annual conference facilitation, and funding support. The committee of ASHA provides the guidance upon which ASHM acts in relation to policy, educational and resource based support for the sexual health workforce. For more information on the formation and governance of ASHA please see the Establishment Document.

Partner Organisations

Picture: ASHA Collaborator Logos
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