The history of sexuality- HIV-AIDS in Australia Essay Example

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History of Sexuality

  1. What was distinctive about the Australian response to the AIDS crisis

When the AIDS crisis affected the world in the late1980s, there were many uncertainties that made it difficult to contain the crisis. Australia applied a unique model in AIDS control and emerged with the lowest HIV transmission rates and reduced impacts related with the condition. In this essay, I discuss aspects that were distinctive about the Australia model in response to the AIDS crisis.

First, the Australian governments worked closely with marginalized yet high-risk groups including gay men, intravenous drug users and sex workers (Bell 46). There was high collaboration, information sharing and communication between these risk groups and policymakers, politicians and doctors (Bowtell 42).

Second, Australia was the first nation to adopt harm reducing strategies including safe sex and the needle exchange programs which were undertaken voluntarily and supported at official and public levels (Bell 46). There are controversies surrounding these programs in other western countries (Sendziuk 109). In the U.S infection rates among intravenous drug users was at 20 percent while Australia’s remained at 1 percent (Bell 46).

Third, Australia was committed to incorporate sex education and condom use for all groups in the population including young people (Plummer & Irwin 790; Sendziuk 113). Safe sex education started long ago among gay Australia men even before HIV was named (Sendziuk 107).HIV-antibody testing was voluntarily undertaken in order to contain risk of transmission.

Australia’s model of AIDS response is innovative and could be the long awaited solution for curbing HIV/AIDS if it could be emulated by others. In the year 2010, not even a single person was reported of having died from AIDS in Australia (Bell 48).

In conclusion, Australia’s model of AIDS response was the most innovative. It integrated best practices such as supporting high risk groups, incorporating harm reduction strategies in national policies and providing widespread sex and safe sex education in the entire population. The outcome was Australia having the least HIV transmission rates in the world.

Works Cited

Bell, Gail. “A Quiet Anniversary: AIDS Thirty Years On”, The Monthly, (November 2011): 44- 48.

Bowtell, William. Australia: Fighting a Rising Tide: The Response to AIDS in East Asia, (eds. Tadashi Yamamoto and Satako Itoh). Tokyo: Japan Centre for International Exchange (2006): 19-52.

Plummer, David and Irwin, Lawrence. «Grassroots Activities, National Initiatives and HIV Prevention: Clues to Explain Australia’s Dramatic Early Success in Controlling the HIV Epidemic». International Journal of STD & AIDS
17.12 (2006): 787–793.

Sendziuk, Paul. “If It’s Not On, It’s Not On: The Triumph of Safe Sex and Community-based education”, Learning to Trust: Australian Responses to AIDS, Sydney: UNSW Press (2003): 106-135.