25 July 2019
MEDIA RELEASE link.
The Northern Territory AIDS & Hepatitis Council’s (NTAHC) Harm Reduction Program is very heartened by the commitment to evidence based harm reduction strategies in the five new Blood Borne Virus (BBV) and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) strategies.
The naming of custodial settings as priority settings in the new strategies, and the recommended provision of sterile needles and syringes to detainees will reduce the spread of BBVs amongst the prison populations and the wider community.
It is pleasing to see the strategies have taken on board input from national peaks, AIVL and Scarlet Alliance and from other organisations, including NTAHC.
NTAHC’s Sex Worker Outreach program, the SWOP NT and the Sex Worker Reference Group SWRG echoes Jules Kim, CEO of Scarlet Alliance statement “applauding the strategies’ explicitly naming the decriminalisation of sex work, which has been proven to be the most effective approach in removing barriers and enhancing access to testing, treatment and services for BBVs and STIs for sex workers. The Australian Government and the State and Territory Governments around Australia should be congratulated for their commitment to evidence-based responses for sex workers demonstrated in the new National Strategies. Our organisations are delighted that governments have listened and responded to the needs of the community to ensure that Australia’s world leading outcomes in addressing BBVs and STIs among people who use drugs and sex workers are maintained and enhanced,”
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