Two Indigenous LGBTI Health Programs To Lose Funding In June


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander indigenous LGBTI health

Two Indigenous LGBTI Health Organisations:

  •  Queensland AIDS Council’s 2Spirits program (QuAC)
  •  Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council’s Aboriginal Sexual Health (NTAHC)

Will receive no funding after June 30 this year.

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QuAC director Michael Scott said the 2Spirits program concentrated on indigenous LGBTI health.

This is important because Indigenous men did not seek medical attention with medical services due to fears of stigma.

Michael Scott comments:

“What we’ve found is building trust and rapport over time is what is needed,” Mr Scott told AAP.

Scott said one of the main projects which would be affected by the cut was the distribution of medication for HIV prevention.

He said rates of sexually transmitted infections were higher among Indigenous people than non-Indigenous people.

A federal health department spokesperson said in a statement sexual and reproductive health is “primarily a state and territory responsibility.”

“QuAC has been aware that since 2015 they would only get funding up to 30 June 2017, and advised to make alternative arrangements,” the spokesperson said.

NTAHC said they had also been advised that their Aboriginal Sexual Health Program also won’t be funded after June 30.

“With high rates of STIs and blood-borne viruses in this community, disappointing decision by the Commonwealth government,” NTAHC said.

The Kirby Institute: Annual Surveillance Report last year

In 2015 HIV notifications among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men was more than double the rate in non‑Indigenous populations.

Furthermore, this had steadily increased in the past five years.

Rates of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis were at times 18 times higher among the Indigenous community than the non-Indigenous population.

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