ASHM Report Back

Clinical posts from members and guests of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) from various international medical and scientific conferences on HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and sexual health.

Day 2: Be nice, but not soft

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Continuing the theme of acknowledging our own societal disadvantages and the urgent need for equity, the Sexual Health Opening Plenary featured Professor Christopher Fairley discussing his own encouraging and inclusive professional ethos. 

Key Point:  ‘Be nice, but not soft’



Next, Professor Gracelyn Smallwood from Central Queensland University, an Indigenous clinical nurse, midwife, activist, world traveller and ceaseless advocate shared her story.  I can’t be the only one there who wished she was my ‘Auntie Grace’, as she unravelled the burden of history currently contributing to growing inequity in our Indigenous, regional and remote communities. 

Key Points:

·      The disproportionate health burdens existing in ATSI communities are a result of societal breakdown

·      Equity will not be achieved until social determinants of health – employment, education, housing – are addressed collaboratively at a policy level, informed by grass roots knowledge


·      We must reconcile with historical truth

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