July 31, 2023

Indigenous Peoples Conference on HIV and Hepatitis Health Equity

Indigenous Peoples Conference on HIV and Hepatitis Health Equity

Dr Tanya Allport and Tom Johnson from Whakauae Research, and Dr Zarah Allport (Te Whānau o Waipareira ) attended the Indigenous Peoples Conference on HIV and Hepatitis Health Equity in Meaanjin (Brisbane), the ancient lands of the aboriginal Jaggera and Turrbal peoples.

The conference was aimed at centring Indigenous peoples' expertise, experiences, and leadership within the themes around continued inequities of preventing, treating, and managing HIV and Hepatitis for Indigenous peoples across the globe.

Led by Co-Convenors James Ward (UQ Poche) and Edan Campbell-O'Brien, the conference provided a culturally safe forum for Indigenous Health Professionals internationally to advocate for the needs and interests of Indigenous Peoples in global and state led initiatives in HIV and Hepatitis.

Topics included policy, programming, and financing, discussions on challenges and gaps across the sector, and presentations by representatives from Aotearoa, Professor Chris Cunningham (Director of the Research Centre for Hauora & Health, College of Health Te Kura Hauora Tangata, Massey University), and Professor Papaarangi Reid (Tumuaki and Head of Department of Māori Health at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland).

Bringing together attendees from diverse countries including Canada, USA, Nepal, Australia and Aotearoa, the conference highlighted the shared experiences and the work that is still needed across our countries to achieve recognition, resourcing and self-determined pathways towards HIV and Hepatitis prevention and management.

One of the important outcomes of the conference was the shared drafting and ratification by delegates of an Indigenous manifesto that outlined a challenge to the International Aids Society (IAS - whose conference was being held in Brisbane subsequent to the Indigenous one) to explicitly acknowledge Indigenous peoples as priority populations in HIV prevention and care (currently they are not). Titled “More than words, more than tokenism, more than silence”, the statement to IAS highlights the continued overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in infection data and seeks action and commitment from the IAS to stand with Indigenous peoples across the world.

The conference allowed the team from Whakauae to meet academics, frontline practitioners and people with lived experience of HIV, and have returned home to Aotearoa refreshed with new knowledge, connections and support to further the development of a project around inequities of HIV prevention for Māori.  


Indigenous Peoples Conference on HIV and Hepatitis Health Equity
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