The MHAHS joined a host of services last week to welcome international students at a reception organised by the City of Sydney. Held at the Sydney Town Hall, close to 1,000 students from more than 60 nations attended the ceremony.

Galuh Sapthari, project officer for the MHAHS International Student Project, was thrilled to attend the ceremony.
 
“It was a great opportunity for us to meet with so many students and introduce our work. It was also great to meet with the Lord Mayor and so many other services all of whom want to see our international student community prosper. I welcome their focus on the health and wellbeing of the students and appreciate their interest in how our project will  engage with them in the months ahead,” said Galuh.

Galuh organised an information stall to distribute various HIV resources to the students and was supported by our Community Engagement Officer, Wa'el Sabri and Health Promotion Officer, Natali Smud.

The International Student Project aims to raise 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 Galuh Sapthari on 9515 1234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
African communities are responding positively to our Hepatitis B Project.

The project, which started early this year in response to the prevailing epidemic, has identified a series of strategies to engage African communities in addressing the issue.

“The early response has been very encouraging, despite some challenges,” said Lucy Mukoko, project officer from the Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS).

“There is a lack of awareness about hepatitis B in our communities, so often it’s not taken seriously. Now that we’ve gained the support of some key people in our communities, we are starting to see more interest and are getting requests for more education sessions. This is very exciting, but we still have a long way to go before we have full hepatitis B awareness.”

Successful education sessions have been organised with Sierra Leonian and Ethiopian communities recently and more workshops are planned for the Zimbabwean and other communities in the coming months.

For more information about the workshops and the African Hepatitis B Project, please contact Lucy Mukoko on 95151234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The SCOTS College English language school, in collaboration with the MHAHS, held HIV information sessions for more than 300 students at its City campus this week.

The sessions were aimed at providing students with accurate and appropriate information about HIV, according to the MHAHS International Student Project Officer, Gula Sapthari.

“Around the world, lack of appropriate information is often one of the reasons why people remain unaware of HIV. Health interventions through education providers often have a large reach. We hope our initiative will help reach what is still largely an isolated and vulnerable student population,” Ms Sapthari said.

Four concurrent sessions were held in the morning and evening at the school with students assigned different groups depending on their English proficiency. MHAHS educators led the sessions and encouraged students to ask questions about the epidemic.

School Director, Joe Lynch said: “the sessions were an important opportunity for students to practice their English language skills as well as discuss what is still a taboo topic in many culturally diverse communities. Understanding HIV testing, treatment and prevention can only help improve students’ access to these key services.”

Evaluation suggested the students found the sessions highly engaging with many calling the sessions “honest”, “excellent” and “useful” as well as thanking the organisers for inviting people living with HIV to share their powerful experiences.

The International Student Project aims to  raise 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.
More than 20,000 people gathered at the Wyatt Park, Lidcombe to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Africultures festival at the weekend.

The one day community event, which showcases offerings of traditional food, music, art from 40 of Africa’s 53 sovereign nations also saw participation from various health services with information stalls.

Our African Community Development Project Officer, Lucy Mukoko organised a hepatitis B information stall to support the occasion.

“The anniversary marks an important milestone for our community to reflect and celebrate. It is also an opportunity to share information that promotes the health of the community.  The MHAHS  hepatitis B stall is our way of celebrating the occasion while raising community awareness about hepatitis B and encouraging people to get tested,” Ms Mukoko said.

For more information about our African Hepatitis B Project, contact Lucy Mukoko on 9515 1234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.