Policy & Research

Policy

We’re here to work with legislators, policymakers and service providers to help them understand and address the needs of LGBTI people and people with HIV.

HIV Advocacy Plan

ADvocacyACON has a long heritage in HIV advocacy from the very beginning of the epidemic, and the organisation’s inception in 1985. Our  HIV Advocacy Plan identifies activities that seek to respond to the current issues in HIV policy and advocacy, as well as future challenges and opportunities.

Our work focusses on a broad range of issues as they impact on both the prevention of HIV and other STIs, as well as care and support for people living with HIV, including:

  • Areas which will have the most impact on the fight to end HIV
  • Policy goals and targets in the NSW and National HIV Strategies
  • Addressing priority areas and the clear rationale for change from an individual, community, population health and health system perspective
  • Making PrEP available to gay men who want to access to this prevention method. This will be critical to ensure access to this game changing biomedical intervention
  • Securing access to a wider variety of HIV testing services, especially HIV self – testing and rapid HIV testing.

To find out more please contact our Sydney office: advocacy@acon.org.au

NSW Election 2015

In the lead up to the 2015 NSW election, ACON, the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Positive Life NSW, the Sex Workers Outreach Project, and Organisation Intersex International Australia surveyed the major parties as well as key independents on a range of issues relevant to the LGBTI communities and people with HIV.

Find out how they responded to questions on key policy issues such as HIV and blood borne viruses, LGBTI health and wellbeing, people with intersex variations, community safety and social inclusion, education, ageing, drug use and harm reduction, and sex worker health:

To find out more please contact our Sydney office: advocacy@acon.org.au

 

Research

We’re are here to promote and support HIV and LGBTI health related research in NSW.

ACON Ethics Committee

Download: ACON Ethics Committee Application Form

Research provides a significant benefit to the delivery of effective health promotion and services. ACON seeks to encourage researchers to participate in a process of peer-review regarding ethical issues to promote ethical conduct in human research in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community; among people with and affected by HIV; and among sex workers. This process helps to improve the quality of research related to these groups, which, in turn, makes the research more useful for health providers such as ACON.

The ACON Research Ethics Review Committee exists to provide advice to ACON on ethical issues relating to research and to provide ethical guidance to researchers and research participants. Research projects seeking ACON’s endorsement, or access to ACON’s support and resources, are required to attain approval from the RERC. Approval is a prerequisite for the consideration of assistance or support for the research by ACON.

Who should seek ACON ethics approval?

  • Projects that seek to use ACON or SWOP staff, mailing lists, or other material resources,
  • Projects that specifically target LGBT populations, either as their sole sample group or as an identified sub-sample,
  • Projects that specifically target people with HIV or those who provide their care and support,
  • Projects that specifically target people who work in the sex industry, and
  • Projects that concern issues relating to the health of people with HIV/AIDS, LGBT people, or sex workers.

Download: ACON’s Ethics Committee Application Form

Application
Deadlines
(2017)
Committee
Meeting Dates
(2017)
11 January 25 January
8 February
22 February
8  March
22 March
12 April
26 April
3 May 17 May
7 June
21 June
5 July
19 July
2 August 16 August
6 September
20 September
4 October
18 October
1 November
15 November
6 December
20 December

Recommended Sexuality and Gender Indicators

Through regular and ongoing consultation with our communities and LGBTI health research experts we have developed the following sexuality and gender indicators to capture our communities in data sets. We recommend the use of these questions in all health/human services data collection and in research where applicable.

Johann

ACON’s Research Priorities

ACON’s
Strategic
Plan
2013-2018
Stratplan-cover
ACON’s
HIV Action
Plan
2013-2018
hivstrat-plan
ACON’s
LGBTI
Health
Outcome
Strategies
2013-2018
hos-mental
Mental Health & Wellbeing
hos-hep
Sexual Health & Hep C Prevention
strat-AOD
Alcohol & Other Drugs

Smoking …………………       

Domestic & Family Violence
HOS-CommSafety
Community Safety & Social Inclusion

Ageing Health Outcome Strategy 2017-2021

SWASH – The Sydney Women and Sexual Health Survey

20150206_172245

The Sydney Women and Sexual Health (SWASH) survey was first carried out in 1996. It was initiated by workers from two ACON projects, Women Partners of Gay and Bisexual Men and the Gay and Lesbian Injecting Drug Use Project, who were faced with a lack of empirical evidence on which to base their intervention work. Research on lesbian, bisexual and queer women’s health and wellbeing is still scarce.

SWASH is now a comprehensive survey of sexual and gender identity; community connection; smoking, alcohol and drug use; sexual health; height and weight; psychological wellbeing; experiences of anti-gay, sexual and domestic violence; parenthood intentions; preventive health behaviour; healthcare access and satisfaction; and knowledge questions on reproductive health.

The survey is run every two years by a collaboration of ACON and researchers at the University of New South Wales (until 2009), and now the University of Sydney (since 2010). SWASH is the longest running and only regular survey of LBQ women’s health and wellbeing in Australia (and probably the world). In 2010, the survey began running biennially in Perth: Women’s West Australian Sexual Health (WWASH).

For more information and research on women’s health in Australia, visit The Australian Women’s Health Network’s Women’s Health Hub online library. Information is categorised under various themes including a section relating to sexually and gender diverse women.

SWASH downloads:


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles:

Germanos, R, Deacon, R, Mooney-Somers, J. (Accepted 3/3/15) The social and cultural significance of women’s sexual identities should guide health promotion; an analysis of the Sydney Women and Sexual Health (SWASH) survey. LGBT Health.

Douglas, C, Deacon, R, Mooney-Somers. (Accepted 2/2/15) Pap smear rates among Australian community-attached lesbian and bisexual women: some good news but disparities persist. Sexual Health, 12(3): 249-256.

Richters, J., & Clayton, S. (2010) The practical and symbolic purpose of dental dams in lesbian safe sex promotion [editorial]. Sexual Health, 7, 103-106.

Richters, J., Prestage, G., Schneider, K. & Clayton, S. (2010) Do women use dental dams? Safe sex practices of lesbians and other women who have sex with women. Sexual Health.7, 165-169.

Richters, J., Bergin, S., Lubowitz, S., & Prestage, G. (2002). Women in contact with Sydney’s gay and lesbian community: Sexual identity, practice and HIV risks. AIDS Care, 14, 193-202.

Richters, J., Lubowitz, S., Bergin, S., & Prestage, G. (1998). HIV risks among women in contact with Sydney’s gay and lesbian community. Venereology, 11(3), 35-38.


Conference Papers

Douglas, C, Deacon, R, Mooney-Somers (2015) Pap smear rates among Australian community-attached lesbian and bisexual women: some good news but disparities persist. Health in Difference: 9th National LGBTI Health Conference, Canberra, 13-15 August 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/2123/12063 (poster)

Douglas, C, Deacon, R, Mooney-Somers, J. Pap smear rates among Australian community-attached lesbian and bisexual women: some good news but disparities persist. Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer Women’s Health Conference, Melbourne, 27 March 2015. (oral)

Germanos, R, Deacon, R, Mooney-Somers, J. (2015) The social and cultural significance of women’s sexual identities should guide health promotion; an analysis of the Sydney Women and Sexual Health (SWASH) survey. Health in Difference: 9th National LGBTI Health Conference, Canberra, 13-15 August 2015. (poster)

Mooney-Somers, J, Deacon, R, AOD and mental health among Australian community-attached lesbian and bisexual women. Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer Women’s Health Conference, Melbourne, 27 March 2015. (invited oral)

Mooney-Somers J, Deacon R, Comfort J, Richters J. (2013) Urgent action needed to address smoking, drug use, sexual and mental health among young lesbian and bisexual women – data from Sydney and Perth. Youth Health, Perth.

Mooney-Somers J, Deacon R, Comfort J, Richters J. (2013) Using local evidence to inform public health priorities for lesbian and bisexual women’s sexual health. Sexual Health, Darwin. http://hdl.handle.net/2123/11980

Mooney-Somers, J, Deacon, R, Comfort J. Price K Richters J (November 2012) Using local evidence to inform public health priorities for lesbian and bisexual women’s sexual and reproductive health . Poster presented at 1st Sexual and Reproductive Health Conference, Melbourne.

Matheson, A, Ishter, T, May, S, Mooney-Somers, J &Deacon, R. Addressing health inequities for same sex attracted women in New South Wales, who use drugs. Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference (APSAD), Hobart: November 2011. http://hdl.handle.net/2123/12040

Matheson, A, May, S, Mooney-Somers, J &Deacon, R. Addressing health inequities for same sex attracted women in New South Wales, Australia, who use drugs. International Harm Reduction Conference, Beirut: April 2011. http://hdl.handle.net/2123/12039

Clayton, S., Richters, J., May, S., & Eulate,V. (September 2008). Exploring lesbian health: Behaviours in community-connected lesbians and same-sex-attracted women in Sydney. Poster presented at Australasian Sexual Health Conference, Perth.

Richters, J., (April 2007). Researching sex between women. Invited presentation in forum on Gay and Lesbian Research Studies, 1st World Congress of Sexual Health (18th World Congress of World Association of Sexology), Sydney. Abstract S24-2 in 1st World Congress for Sexual Health, Achieving health, pleasure and respect, Sydney April 15-19, 2007: Abstract book. Boulogne Billancourt: Regimedia, p. 30.

Richters, J., Ellard, J., Prestage, G., Allan, B., Rudland, J., Pinwill, S., & Clayton, S. (July 2003). Prevention of HIV and sexually transmissible infections in sex between women: the practical and symbolic role of dental dams. Presented to AIDS Impact, Milan.

Richters, J., Ellard, J., Prestage, G., Rudland, J., Pinwill, S., & Clayton, S. (November 2002). Sex between women in contact with the gay and lesbian community: Use of dental dams. Presented to Health in Difference 4: Fourth National Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual Health Con¬ference, Sydney.

Richters, J., Ellard, J., Prestage, G., Rudland, J., Pinwill, S., & Clayton, S. (November 2002). Sexual risk among women in contact with the gay and lesbian community: Sydney Women and Sexual Health survey 2002. Presented to Building a Lesbian Health Research Agenda Forum, ACON (AIDS Council of New South Wales) and ALMA (Australian Lesbian Medical Association), Sydney.

Richters, J., Aspin, C., Bebbington, M., & Prestage, G. (September 2001). SWASH 2000: Safe sex practices between women. Presented to Lesbian Health: Making Visible through Research, AIDS Council of NSW roundtable, Sydney.

Richters, J. (December 2000). Sexual identity, sexual practice and STD risk: Sydney Women and Sexual Health survey 1998. Presented to forum on women who have sex with women, Lesbian Health Interagency Network and AIDS Council of NSW, Sydney.

Richters, J., Bergin, S., Lubowitz, S., French, J., & Prestage, G. (July 1998). Women in contact with the gay and lesbian community: Sydney Women and Sexual Health survey 1996 and 1998. Poster presented at Bridging the Gap: 12th World AIDS Conference, Geneva. Abstract 23492 in Conference Record.

Richters, J., Bergin, S., Lubowitz, S., French, J., & Prestage, G. (October 1998). Women in contact with the gay and lesbian community: Sydney Women and Sexual Health survey 1998. Presented to Fifth HIV/AIDS and Society Conference, Sydney.

Richters, J. (June 1997). Women in contact with Sydney’s gay and lesbian community: identity, behaviour and risk. Presented to AIDS Impact: Biopsychosocial Aspects of HIV Infection 3rd International Conference, Melbourne.

LBQ Women’s Tobacco Reduction Project Survey Report

In 2015 an anonymous online survey of LBQ women was conducted to:

  1. Identify smoking and smoking cessation behaviours, patterns and contexts among LBQ women and,
  2. Compare the characteristics of current smokers and ex-smokers.
The information below presents findings and complete report from this survey. The findings from this research also helped inform #SmokeFreeStillFierce the hugely successful tobacco reduction campaign for LBQ Women.

sfsf_fact-sheet_web-version_1400x990

Download the digital version of the full Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer (LBQ) Women’s Tobacco Reduction Project Community Report Online Survey Findings here. (Right click on the link and “save link as” to view the digital version correctly in Adobe Acrobat)

Download the printable version of the Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer (LBQ) Women’s Tobacco Reduction Project Community Report Online Survey Findings here.