World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year.
In Melbourne he Victorian African Health Action Network (VAHAN) is organising a community forum at VU metro West in Footscray to reflect on what has changed HIV & AIDS in Australia and how it relates to African communities and what people are doing to address this important social issue.
Interview with Dr Chris Lemoh on World’s AIDS day
Dr Chris Lemoh is the chairperson of VAHAN and he spoke to AMA about the forum and what his organisation does in general. Dr Lemoh says about 1000 are diagnosed every year in Australia and about 7% of that are from an African background…AIDS is still an issue and just because there is limited public awareness efforts on HIV – AID S in Australia compared to some countries in Africa where there is a lot of public messages around this condition, this does not mean that the issue has disappeared”
VAHAN Vis a small, not-for-profit, community-based health promotion charity focusing on mobilising Victorian African communities to respond to the challenges of HIV, blood borne viruses and related sexual and reproductive health issues.
African Australians remain somewhat marginalised in the Australian response to HIV, BBV and STI. We need to be more actively involved in the development and implementation of policies and programmes addressing HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, which disproportionately affect our communities.
VAHAN aims to engage with African communities in Victoria to develop a process through which the concerns of these communities can be considered during the development and implementation of policies and programmes intended to prevent HIV and improve the provision of appropriate treatment and support to people living with HIV.