The joint campaign with Pozhet NSW will use Facebook to promote HIV Home Testing for earlier diagnosis

The Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS) will launch a social media campaign to promote HIV home testing next week.

The Do you need a HIV Test? campaign will encourage people from diverse backgrounds to order their HIV home testing kit online and reduce their risk of late diagnosis.

At the centre of the campaign is an animation video which shows how to order the free self-sampling HIV testing kit online, how to use the kit to collect a small blood sample and send it away for testing.

The campaign is part of  our effort to raise awareness of HIV testing among diverse communities and prevent late diagnosis, according to Barbara Luisi, manager of the MHAHS.

“Our campaign shows how easy it is to order the free home testing kit online and do the test in the privacy of your home. The test is confidential and you don’t have to see a doctor or go to a clinic.

HIV remains a public health concern in Australia with an estimated 26,444 people living with HIV in Australia in 2016. Nearly one in ten Australians living with HIV are unaware they have the virus and may be unknowingly passing on the virus to others.

The HIV home testing kit, Dried Blood Spot HIV Test (DBS) can be ordered online at http://www.hivtest.health.nsw.gov.au.

Visit the MHAHS at www.facebook.com/TheMHAHS
A key health project to deliver HIV testing, prevention and treatment information to international students in NSW is making steady progress.

The MHAHS International Student’s Project Officer, Galuh Sapthari, reports increasing interest from a number of educational institutes and services to collaborate with the project.

“We have a number of educational institutes expressing interest to collaborate with us and engage their teachers and students alike in increasing awareness of HIV testing, prevention and treatment. Discussions are already afoot in developing an English language curriculum using HIV as a topic at some centres and scheduling training workshops at others in the coming months. We are determined to provide our international student communities with necessary HIV information and keep them safe,” Ms Galuh said.

There are more than 600,000 international students in Australia in 2017 with over 260,000 enrolments in NSW.

The Project is aimed at raising awareness of contemporary HIV testing, prevention and treatment options among overseas students studying in NSW. It encourages international students to seek free help from relevant HIV services if they feel they are at risk while studying in NSW.

For more project details, contact Gula Sapthari on 9515 1234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sydney’s Vietnamese community has welcomed the New Year Tet festival with red envelopes containing health messages on hepatitis B and small gifts from the South Western Sydney Local Health District at Fairfield Showground on 23-25 February.

Local Health District Health Education Officer, Uyen Truong, presented the lucky envelopes at the festival and spoke to the community about protecting their health by learning more about hepatitis B.

“Hepatitis B is common in many culturally diverse communities, including our own,” she said. “Most people with hepatitis B don’t have symptoms and many don’t know they have it. We hope to raise awareness and put hepatitis B on our community’s agenda."

MHAHS Cultural Support Officer, Kim Trang, was at the event with her colleague Ann Nguyen to answer possible questions about the epidemic from the public.

“This was a very positive experience. So many people stopped by to chat with us about hepatitis B. Some wanted more information about their ongoing hepatitis B treatment in their own language while others shared their stories about their treatment. Many liked getting their hands on the red envelope and taking their pictures at the photo booth which generated photos with hepatitis B messages on them,” said Ms Kim.

There are more than 239,000 people living with chronic hepatitis B in Australia with about 84,000 in NSW. Nearly 40 per cent of them don’t know they have the virus. Untreated, chronic hepatitis B can cause serious liver damage and liver cancer.
The Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS) helped run an information stall at Mardi Gras Fair Day on 18th February. Coordinated by the HARP Unit from Sydney Local Health District, the MHAHS team helped distribute various health resources  at the event.

Health Promotion Officer, Ally Kerr, who helped at the stall with our other Health Promotion Officer, Natali Smud, said the event was an ideal opportunity to collaborate with other services.

“It was great to meet with people from many other health services at the event. Events such as these not only increase our visibility, they also make health information more accessible to our communities,” she said.

Details about other community events are available here.