The MHAHS and Art Resistance, are teaming up once again for a hepatitis C video series. Aimed at supporting Hepatitis Awareness Week in July this year, the new venture is part of the broader NSW Health Viral Hepatitis Communication Strategy, and will include stories of people from diverse cultural backgrounds who have undergone hepatitis C treatment.

The joint venture will be the team’s first outing since co-producing the highly successful video on HIV and hepatitis C Everybody’s Business almost 10 years ago.

Everybody’s Business was a very important HIV and hepatitis C education resource in Australia, particularly for culturally diverse communities, according to Denise Voros.

Everybody’s Business was a staple education resource for community HIV and hepatitis C workers across much of Australia in the early 2000s. The videos were well received and were praised for their clarity, simplicity, cultural appropriateness and above all for their humour and liveliness. The resource was adaptable that made it easy for people to discuss what is an otherwise difficult topic,” said Ms Voros.

Produced in English, Indonesian, Khmer, Somali, Thai, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese languages, the innovative resource won the Government Category of the 1999 Ethnic Affairs Multicultural Marketing Award.

Here is hoping for another memorable outing.
Hepatitis B awareness may be low in the community but recent information sessions organised by our Arabic Hepatitis B Project are proving increasingly popular. More than 5 community organisations have joined our project to organise information sessions and so far over 50 community members attended these sessions.

Faten Solaqa, Arabic Hepatitis B Project Officer acknowledged the community support as the key ingredient to the ongoing success of the project.

“We were lucky to have the support of key community organisations. The support we have from community organisations such as Parents Café Fairfield, SydWest Multicultural Services, Tripoli and Mena Association and Community First Step is vital,” Ms Solaqa said.

Ms Solaqa explained the sessions were part of a strategy to increase awareness of hepatitis B in the community and said she was happy with how the sessions had gone.

“All the sessions have gone well. We had lots of feedback on how good the sessions were and how much people have learnt to keep their families safe and healthy,” she said.

Ms Solaqa appreciated the range of questions people asked at these sessions and said she was pleased to see such a good turnout for the event.

“There is so much misinformation about hepatitis B in the community, so I think to have an event like this that promotes accurate information is very important. Over time, such sessions will certainly draw even more interest,” Ms Solaqa said.

The project will hold its next two information sessions at Community First Step in Fairfield on 19th and 26th April.

If you are interested in attending these sessions, or would like further information on how to organise a session, please call Faten Solaqa on 9515 1234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Key Arabic community radio stations are partnering with the Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS) to increase awareness of hepatitis B in the Arabic-speaking community.

The project, which is a joint undertaking with South Western Sydney Local Health District, is working with Muslim Community Radio and the Voice of Charity to produce a series of interviews to raise awareness of the importance of hepatitis B testing and treatment.

The project offers an exciting opportunity for the station, according to Faten El Dana, OAM, of Muslim Community Radio, 92.1FM.
 
“We're excited to work with the MHAHS again. Muslim Community Radio, 2MFM, plays an important role in bringing about positive change. Our involvement in the project is a step in that direction. Supporting the project is a great way to interact with our listeners as well as provide important health information,” said Ms El Dana.

Community radio stations remain a powerful way to reach Arabic-speaking communities, according to Faten Solaqa, Hepatitis B Project Officer from  the MHAHS.

“If we’re trying to educate culturally diverse communities, we need to include ethnic media in our efforts. Community radio outlets are highly regarded and have the capacity to reach wide audiences,” said Ms Solaqa.

For more information about our Arabic Community Hepatitis B Project, contact Faten Solaqa on 9515 1234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Federal government has announced it will list an effective HIV prevention drug on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), starting April 1.

Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed the news on Tuesday 21st March, that pre-exposure prophylaxis medicine, known as PrEP, would be government subsidised from next month.

HIV advocates have welcomed the move as an important step forward for Australia in becoming one of the first countries in the world to eliminate the transmission of HIV nationally.

Professor Darrell O Donnell, the CEO of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, says the move will change people’s lives.

“There is absolutely no doubt that PrEP is a game changer for Australia’s response to HIV. With the introduction of PrEP, we’re absolutely certain that we will be able to drive rates of HIV in this country to very, very low levels,” he said.

However, there is a need to ensure the news is also shared with people from culturally diverse backgrounds, according to Barbara Luisi, manager of the MHAHS.

“People from diverse backgrounds need to be aware of this important announcement as many are unaware of what PrEP is. Some may be aware, but hesitant about it and fearful that taking it would stigmatise them in their community,” said Ms Luisi.

PrEP is a once-daily pill that is considered to be 99% effective at preventing new HIV diagnoses when used properly.

Click here for information about PrEP in different languages.