HIV / AIDS Prevention in Australia: Lessons the US Can Learn from a National Policy Approach
MetadataShow full item record
This paper explores HIV / AIDS prevention in Australia and the ways in which these policies might be adapted to the US cultural context. The literature examines HIV I AIDS preventive measures that have proven successful in developed nations in the past including self-organizations that include HIV I AIDS affected groups in planning preventive programming, orientation around a harm reduction paradigm, needle and syringe exchange programs that provide injecting drug users with sterile injecting equipment, and medically supervised injecting centers (MSICs) where drug users can access sterile injecting equipment and inject under medical supervision to reduce sharing and inappropriate disposal of equipment. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the Australian National HIV / AIDS Prevention Strategies on HIV / AIDS service provision in Australia and to explore the relevance of the findings to US HIV / AIDS prevention policy. The research consisted of interviews with Australian HIV / AIDS service providers in both the governmental and private sectors, as well as participant observation at World AIDS Day planning meetings and a tour of the MSIC in Sydney. Australia's prompt, assertive and unified national response to HIV / AIDS is compared with the delayed, fragmented response in the US. Then this study looks at cultural differences that affected national response in either country. The findings suggest that despite these cultural differences, the Australian response to HIV / AIDS, specifically the existence of a nationwide prevention policy, provides valuable lessons that might be used to improve domestic HIV / AIDS prevention in the US.