GRAI June 2022 | E-NEWSLETTER #20

GRAI WriterGRAI News

What’s been happening in GRAI land!


Dear Members, Community and Allies,

I have several discrete thoughts to share in this month’s newsletter. The COVID bug has hit me hard, so apologies for it being more of a ‘list’.

I wanted to reflect on a study for this month. This is an area that the GRAI Office has found some research on. Loneliness has the same impact on your health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day! (Click here for an article on this topic). For me this resonated with some of the challenges facing the LGBTI community and how vital it is for us to maintain our connections with others.

If we consider the implications, it is apparent that individuals who are lonely and isolated face many barriers to seeking help, checking in, and engaging with others. For LGBTI elders, the barriers are greater. As we continue work on the Village Hub we have exciting news! The team have developed an LGBTI Elders Games Hub, which starts this Thursday the 2nd of June in the Perth CBD and on June 16th in Manning. Please see below for more information.

It is Reconciliation Week and it is a timely reminder of the strength and resilience shown by our First Nations Families and Communities. Within our rainbow family, we need to continue to show kindness and acknowledge the challenges faced by our First Nations People. Sadly, our own community is not immune to racism. If you are interested in any of the activities please see this website or click here.

Lastly, the change of government means the death of the Religious Discrimination Bill. As we work out the next steps from a GRAI perspective, I am buoyed by some of the early statements from Prime Minister Albanese; particularly those identifying more decency and a collegial approach to politics. We can but hope!

With Pride,

Chair, GRAI Board.


For National Volunteering week, GRAI, in partnership with Living Proud, held an intergenerational workshop on Saturday 21st May.

Participants had the opportunity to assist with packing take-away snack packs for homeless people, safe sex packs for WACC and Living Proud resource packs.

Thanks to everyone who turned up. It was great to meet new people and to work together on such worthy causes!

Sarah from Living Proud outlined a range of fascinating online volunteering options. If you fancy counting brown or black squirrels in America or transcribing historical documents or other citizen science activities, check out this website!

Rowan, the GRAI Befriender coordinator, presented on the GRAI Volunteer Befriender program.  If you would like to know more about the GRAI Befriender program, please contact Rowan at


GRAI partnered with UWA SAGE Living Lab and UWA Student Guild Pride Department to present a lunchtime workshop on Generational, cultural and rural experiences of Homo- Bi- & Trans-phobia.

A panel of five amazing speakers shared their personal experiences of Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. We heard from David who was a member of the Australian Defence forces when the ban of homosexuals was still in place; from Stacie Mei who wanted to transition at nine but was forced by family/society to wait until much later in life; from Kaelin who grew up in regional WA and was an out young gay man; and Paris and Lukasz both provided insightful perspectives from their diverse cultural backgrounds.

The workshop was stimulating and educational and the contributions from the audience enriched the discussion.

Photo (from left to right): Lukasz, Kedy, Kaelin, Paris, Stacie Mei, David


Since 2014, GRAI has delivered our ‘Right to Belong’ LGBTI inclusivity training to the aged care sector, as part of the federally funded National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Training Project.

This training is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health as part of the National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Training Project and is subsidised for those working in the aged care sector.

As part of the funding GRAI delivered the first three-part Community of practice program over the past three months.

This project offered organisations the opportunity to send 3-4 people who were sufficiently well-placed to be change agents within their organisation.
They were managers, team leaders, policy developers, and HR staff in the aged care sector, including: residential facilities, retirement villages, community care providers and all services engaging with older members of the community.

The three-part course explored how organisations can link the Aged Care standards with a Rainbow Readiness framework. Participants were assisted to understand the meaning and rationale of the standards for LGBTI people (why it matters); what implementation looks like on the ground; and how the organisation can develop and self-audit.

An amazing group of 11 ‘change agents’ from five aged care organisations completed the course. It was inspiring to work with this group of passionate and committed people, who were determined to assist their organisations to become safe and inclusive places for older LGBTI people.

GRAI will be offering another three-part community of practice program starting in July. Enquiries:





GRAI’s new Village Hub event, the LGBTI Elders Games Hub, is an opportunity to get together with other LGBTI elders in a relaxed atmosphere and play a board game or have a cuppa and a chat. Afternoon tea is provided and there is a range of games to choose from, including: Mahjong, Canasta, Scrabble, Dominoes, Chess, Drafts, Pass the Pigs, Uno, Quiddler, Boggle, Yahtzee, Backgammon, Cribbage, Checkers, Rummikub, and Ticket to Ride.

We look forward to seeing you there. Don’t hesitate to contact Rowan if you would like support with finding the venue 🙂



Hi, I’m Allan and I live in Lathlain.

Being retired I was seeking to do volunteer work and connect with people. With GRAI, I believe we have a need to help seniors that may be feeling isolated and vulnerable. I lead a busy life with 9 grandchildren and my partner and I have 8 children between us.

I also volunteer with Orange Sky with their mobile laundry vans doing washing and drying for the homeless. It is a very rewarding experience and I have met some beautiful people.
My other interests are gardening and travel.

I am looking forward to being involved with our new venture, The LGBTI ELDERS GAMES HUB. 
I am looking forward to meeting new people and I hope to see you there.

If you would like to have regular visits or outings with me, let Rowan know by sending an email to

Do you know someone who is lonely or isolated that would like to be visited or go on outings with an LGBTI peer on a weekly or fortnightly basis?

Please contact Rowan at

All Befrienders are trained, and have a police clearance and up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations. 

You can download our Befriender EOI pamphlet here. 
You can download our Befriendee Referral form here.


Intergenerational Playgroups are an opportunity for the young and young-at-heart to come together to play. They can be places where LGBT culture is passed on from generation to generation.

The importance of play is ageless. Play brings people together! Play supports improved mood, memory and health through active participation and connection to local community.

Is there any interest the LGBT community to discuss how and where a LGBTI Intergenerational playgroup could be developed?

For further information or to register your interest contact Kedy

For an example of an Australian intergenerational playgroup click here.


Your views are important

If you have news or views to share that are relevant to making the world a better place for LGBTI elders, contact: We look forward to hearing from you, or seeing you at one or several of our upcoming events!

GRAI’s new contact address:

PO Box 350
Mt Hawthorn
WA 6915

Staff Contacts

If you would like to contact Kedy Kristal (Executive Officer), please email her at or call her Mobile: 0484 639 886.

If you would like to contact Rowan Brooker (Befriender Coordinator/Newsletter Coordinator), please email him at or call him on 0493 368 023 on Wednesdays or Thursdays (or text/leave a message).


Positive Ageing Expo 55+

GRAI will be having a stall at this Expo. Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy more than 50 stalls offering a wide variety of engaging information, activities, health checks, demonstrations and discussions.

The 2022 Positive Ageing Expo promotes and encourages healthy lifestyle and wellness opportunities for our over 55s community. Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy a wide variety of 50 stalls, engaging activities, health checks, discussion corners or try something new.

When: Thursday 2 June | 10am–2pm
Where: Walyalup Civic Centre, 151 High Street Fremantle, Walyalup Koort


Transport and parking 

For journey planning or more information on public transport services, call the Transperth InfoLine on 13 62 13 or visit

Visit for City of Fremantle carpark locations. 

Contact us

This a collaborative event organised by the City of Fremantle, City of Melville and Town of East Fremantle.

City of Fremantle: 1300 MY FREO (1300 693 736)
City of Melville: 9364 0666
Town of East Fremantle: 9339 9339

Queer & Accessible Project – Living Proud

Free Disability/Accessibility training for LGBTIQ+ groups and community.

The sessions will be delivered by established organisations in the disability/accessibility sector and are targeted to community groups and organisations that may have limited knowledge but want to learn more about including and welcoming people with disability.  
With a majority of the training sessions taking place online, there is no limit on participant numbers so we encourage you to circulate information to your volunteers, staff and interested individuals within LGBTQ+ community.
The scheduled training sessions are :

  • Engaging with Disability and Creating Inclusive Spaces
    • Thursday 9 June, 4-6.30pm
  • Web and App Accessibility
    • Wednesday 22 June 5.30-8.30pm
  • Easy English Quick Wins
    • Wednesday 29 June, 5.30-8.30pm
  • Deafness Awareness Training
    • Monday 25 July, 6-8pm
  • Inclusion in Sport and Recreation
    • Wednesday 24 August, 4-6.30pm
  • Disability Awareness Training
    • Monday 12 September, 4-6.30pm

You can find out more about the content of the training sessions and register at

Christmas in July, Saturday, July 23rd
Held at Vic Park Connect. BarbieQ is the host.

Lesbian ‘Old-School’ Spring Dance,
Saturday October 15th (7-11.30pm)

North Perth Town Hall View Street. North Perth  
Music from 70’s,80’s and 90’s low cost event.

Volunteers Needed : Please contact Kedy if you can help @
Looking for a DJ for the night.

Sydney World Pride
17 February to 5th March 2023

Sydney World Pride 17th February to 5th March 2023.

The Sydney World pride and Human Rights Conference  will host 17 major events  including a First Nations Gala concert at the Opera House, a First Nations Gathering space, Opening ceremony, a  concert at the Domain, Closing ceremony ,a music festival, an Interpride Reception at Sydney Town Hall, Human Rights 3 day conference at the Convention centre, LGBTIQ+ Women’s event at Sydney Town Hall, Pride ,Pride March across Sydney Harbour Bridge  and a Bondi beach dance party for 15,000 LGBTIQA+ people. 
Three weekends between 17th Feb and 5th March will host the major events, with Sydney Fair day and Mardi Gras Parade and party on 24th and 25th February and Bondi beach party 4th March and Sydney Pride harbour bridge march on the 5th March.

The Human Rights conference will run from 1st to 3rd March with an expected 1500 participants and over 300 virtual attendees. The four key themes:  Community & Culture, Justice & Freedom, Health & Wellbeing and Visibility& Inclusion. 

The conference speakers and topics will be finalised based on the 2021 survey which received over 1300 responses from 55 countries. The What We Heard report, collating this data will be released in June 2022.  To stay up to date on this event



June Meeting

 Queer BookClub  is excited to present the June book – Clean, along with a reading and discussion by the poet & author:
Scott-Patrick Mitchell (SPM) on Wed 29th June. (6pm-7.30pm)

SPM is a Boorloo based non-binary poet, and Clean is their first full-length poetry collection, a story of addiction and recovery, in relation to WA’s methamphetamine crisis.

A seasoned performance poet, SPM has toured Australia with their works, won a number of prestigious literary awards, and published several chapbooks. Clean is their much-awaited full-length collection – and it has certainly been worth the wait.

“From an unsteady and unsavoury life, we are released into the joy of a recovery made through sheer hard work” (Goodreads).

This event will be livestreamed for online Queer BookClub members, to obtain the link please email by 5pm Tuesday 28th June
For those attending in person, registration is required for this free event. Come along to Connect Victoria Park, 5 Mackie St, Victoria Park to enjoy live spoken word performance and discussion with SPM. Light catering and drinks will also be provided.
Full details are available at the Queer BookClub Facebook event
Tickets are available at

Queer BookClub is supported by Crow Books Vic Park, Dept of Communities
and GRAI ‘s Village Hub.

Book Review: Young Mungo

Young Mungo [was] so well written – and so sadly, disturbingly depressingly real. This kind of entrenched poverty cycle shakes me to the core! The alcoholism, violence, homophobia, the power of social conformity, and yet lovely glimmers of kindness shining here and there. Not an easy read, but such a worthwhile one. I gave it 5 stars.
Ken Hendy

Could some kindly Queer Bookclub member please provide a review of ‘Clean’ for next month’s newsletter? (more than one is very welcome!). Please send your review to Rowan at before June or post it on the Queer Bookclub Facebook page. Thank you 🙂

🌈 Queer BookClub Facebook Group 📚


Meet n Muse (MnM) discussion group for older LBT women, has two locales:

  • The Perth group has, by agreement with regular attendees, cancelled its meetings for the time being. The group will resume meeting at Citiplace when members feel comfortable to begin meeting in person again. Perth attendees are welcome to attend the Mandurah meetings, which are held outdoors.
  • The Mandurah group is meeting on the 1st and 3rd Sundays as usual (1.30pm), at an outdoor venue.

Musers usually debate a given topic of interest for 1 hour, then mosey on to a nearby café. New members are always welcome, please contact Pam for further information and to confirm meeting dates/times and location: or 0420 929 583.

Prime Timers

Prime Timers is a vibrant social club for mature gay and bisexual men, offering a full calendar of diverse activities to keep you well-connected and enjoying life. Meetings are held 2pm on the second Sunday of each month, at ‘The Homestead’ 5 Mackie St, Vic Park, with a guest speaker and afternoon tea. Other activities include dinner nights, coffee mornings, lunch club, book club and special outings. Visit



OUTdance is the place to go to get fit and have fun 🙂 They hold LGBTI community dance classes every Tuesday from 7:00pm at the Mt Hawthorn Community Hall, 197 Scarborough Beach Rd. Relaxed and non-competitive, OUTdance always welcomes new members. Contact Jan on 0401 700 562 or visit the website here.

Perth Outdoors Group

Perth Outdoors Group are mature age LGBTI folk who enjoy a wide range of social activities (not always outdoors!) Functions are held monthly on weekends and there’s also a monthly coffee club. For further info visit

Rainbow Toastmakers

Find your voice at Perth Rainbow Toastmasters! Develop confidence in public speaking, communication, leadership and presentation skills… in an LGBTI+ friendly environment… Rainbow Toastmasters meet 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, 2-4pm, Level 1, 931 Albany Highway. Contact Tim, or 0403 051 081. FB: Perth-Rainbow-Toastmasters.


WA Police Changes to Reports of Elder Abuse

WA Police will now report Elder Abuse as a Family Violence Incident Report (FVIP). Current practice has been to report Elder Abuse as a general incident. The change means that the Family and Domestic Violence Response Teams (FDVRT) will manage all reports of Elder Abuse.  The FDVR teams are staffed by specialist Police, social workers from Dept of Communities and DFV specialists from non-government DFV services.

Untold Stories of Perth
Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP)
Podcast Episode

The rights of the LGBTQ+ community in Perth would not be where they are today without the instrumental campaigning of Campaign Against Moral Persecution, otherwise known as CAMP.

Speaking with some of the original founders of CAMP – Brian Lindberg, Graham Douglas and Vivienne Cass – we explore CAMP’s enormous fight for equality and gay rights that began in Perth in the 1970s.

Listen to the latest Untold Stories of Perth podcast episode to discover the story of these fabulously unflappable activists and LGBTQ+ champions.

Episode produced by Centre for Stories for the City of Perth Cultural Collections.

Listen here.

Transgender Data in the Canadian Census

Changing a question on last year’s census has resulted in a snapshot of Canada’s transgender population, with data released Wednesday showing 0.33 percent of the country’s 38.3 million people identify as a gender that differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

For the first time, Statistics Canada differentiated between “sex at birth″ and “gender″ in the census. While the agency and advocates agree the new numbers likely underestimate the true size of the population, they say the data will offer crucial insight into a marginalized community.

The data collected during last year’s national household survey shows about 100,815 people are transgender or nonbinary, including 31,555 who are transgender women, 27,905 who are transgender men and 41,355 who are nonbinary.

Under “gender,″ respondents were able to choose either male or female, or write in a third option.

The inclusion of transgender people in the census is part of a broader move by the Liberal government to be more inclusive of the LGBTQ community.

Read the original NBC News article here

Two Fa‘afafine (After Gauguin) 2020 Entry to the Venice Biennale

Two Fa‘afafine (After Gauguin), 2020. Photograph: Yuki Kihara and Milford Galleries.

Yuki Kihara, a Samoan-Kiwi artist will be representing New Zealand at the Venice Biennale, with Paradise Camp, 12 tableau photographs, that reference Gauguin and feature fa’afafine. Fa’afaine is a Samoan term meaning “in the manner of women” and refers to a third gender people in both singular and plural.
Kihara has insisted that galleries can only exhibit Paradise Camp if they have gender neutral bathrooms.

View the full Guardian article here

Rainbow Coin 50th Anniversary of Pride

The U.K. has revealed a new rainbow coin to mark the 50th anniversary of Pride
The 50-pence coin, honoring the anniversary of the first official Pride UK event in 1972, is the first to be dedicated to Britain’s LGBTQ community.
Britain’s Royal Mint unveiled a special new commemorative rainbow-colored 50 pence coin on Wednesday as a tribute to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pride UK movement.
The coin, designed by east London artist and LGBTQ activist Dominique Holmes, uses state-of-the-art printing technology to emboss it with the colors of the Pride progress flag.

Ensuring Lifesaving Medications Reach Ukrainians Living With HIV

Read the original ADVOCATE article here.

With all the death, destruction, and heartache coming from Vladimir Putin’s bombardment of Ukraine, it’s easy to forget that those with chronic diseases have been cut off from their lifesaving medications.
There’s been somewhat of an inability of health care providers to reach local communities in the country because of the destruction and dangers precipitated by the war. For that reason, among its other duties, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), an independent agency of the U.S. federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance, is leading the effort to collect and distribute HIV medications to people living with HIV in Ukraine.

“Together, in partnership with 100% Life, the largest patient organization in Ukraine, we are working towards supplying and distributing HIV medications to HIV+ people in Ukraine,” says Dr. Atul Gawande, global health administrator for USAID. “Because of the destruction and isolation that brings to so many people, we are ordering and supplying a year’s worth of HIV treatment medication, and with 100% Life, distributing it in regions across the country.”
100% Life has been a longtime partner to USAID and helps the organization connect the dots in order to create an effective supply chain, Gawande says. “There are processes in place even though almost 90 percent of the country has been closed or under attack,” he says. “We’ve been primarily successful in the western part of the country, which is the safest part at this time.”

Ukraine has the second-largest HIV epidemic in the region with nearly 250,000 people living with HIV, many of whom do not know they are positive, according to USAID. The epidemic is concentrated among key populations: people who inject drugs, female sex workers, and men who have sex with men. USAID receives support from PEPFAR to provide technical assistance to develop a health system that raises the capacity of Ukrainian organizations to deliver high-quality HIV services and links people living with HIV to treatment and care.

“The people doing the work are risking their lives,” Gawande says. “Initially, these folks had to flee and after a couple of weeks reconstituted and then resumed keeping in contact and tracking down those who need HIV medication. It’s a laborious process to make sure everyone has their meds who need it.”

So far, the process is going well, he says: “We are getting in the rhythm of ordering, supplying, transporting, and delivering the meds in what are not the most favourable conditions. We’re helping to enable the reestablishment of the medical supply chain, working also with the Ukrainian government and nearly 5,000 humanitarian organizations throughout the country. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s being done, and we will continue to do what we have to do to make sure everyone has their medications.”

A Sinn Féin Victory in Northern Ireland could spell much-needed change for the LGBTQ+ community

For the first time ever, Sinn Féin is projected to become the biggest party at Stormont, meaning the DUP could lose the first minister post.
If those projections come to pass, it would be a history-making moment in Northern Ireland. If Sinn Féin emerges as the country’s biggest party, it will be the first time in a century that a nationalist party has had majority support.

In simple terms, that means Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill will take the first minister post for the first time. Notably, it would also mean that Northern Ireland would have its first ever pro-LGBTQ+ first minister.

In 2012, Sinn Féin formally supported same-sex marriage and, in 2015, it was the only party in Northern Ireland to support for trans people in its party manifesto.

There is still a great deal of work to be done in Northern Ireland to make life better for LGBTQ+ people. Trans healthcare is in a state of disarray in the region, and conversion therapy is still being practiced legally – although the Stormont government has promised to outlaw the practice and legislation is currently being drafted.

Click here to read the original post in Pink News

LGBT+ Activists Forced to Flee Russia as Vicious Dictator Putin Clamps down on Queerness

LGBT+ activists are fleeing Russia after a charity that advocates for their rights was liquidated by the courts.

Sphere is a charitable foundation that has been working to advance LGBT+ rights and to support the wider queer community in Russia for more than a decade.

Their work – at least in an official capacity – came to an end on Thursday (19 April) when a Russian court agreed to dissolve Sphere, as had been requested by the ministry of justice.

While Sphere was formally dissolved, it is currently continuing its work – although activists don’t currently know what the future will look like. Sphere’s legal fight also continues. They’re planning to appeal the court’s decision, although they’re not holding out much hope.

“The system is against us, but we’re willing to give the case visibility because we believe it’s important. It’s probably one of the most important cases about the LGBT+ movement in the history of modern Russia because there has never before been a case where an organisation has just been ended simply because of the work that it does.”

Dilya and her fellow activists are currently continuing their work from outside of Russia – many made the difficult decision to flee the country in recent weeks.

Dilya is expecting that the government will identify her as a “foreign agent” in the coming weeks. She knows of three LGBT+ activists who have been branded with that classification in recent weeks alone – “foreign agents” face particular scrutiny from the government.

“I think that our work from inside of Russia is not possible anymore, not only because we are known activists and because Sphere as an organisation is very recognisable to Russian authorities, but also because the situation overall has become extremely dangerous for any human rights activists,” Dilya says.

“Human rights activists and even journalists in Russia are leaving the country in hordes at the moment because they’re afraid of persecution. We’re an organisation that definitely has a target on its back”

Click here to read the original article in Pink News

Church of Scotland to Finally Allow Same-Sex Marriages: ‘Tremendous News and Progress’

The Church of Scotland has Voted to Allow Same-Sex Couples to Marry

On Monday (23 May) at the 2022 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, same-sex marriage within the church was approved by 274 votes to 136.While no person would be required to be involved in marrying a same-sex couple if they don’t want to, the church law has now been changed to enable church ministers and deacons to be authorised celebrants to conduct same-sex weddings. Same-sex marriage in Scotland has been legal since December 2014, as it has in the rest of Great Britain, however weddings by the Church of Scotland have not been allowed until now.

Read the original article from Pink News here


Emerging Leaders in Governance Program – LGBTIQ+ Women Only Cohort (August – November 2022)

Open to women (40 years and under) who identify as LGBTIQ+* to participate (*This means LGBTIQ+ women who identify or may be perceived as women in the workplace. This includes cisgender women, transgender women, and non-binary people who may be perceived as female or feminine regardless of their gender identities).

The information evening (1 June 2022 6-7pm) is held to provide those interested with an opportunity to find out more about the program and the responsibilities and opportunities for participants.

Click here for more information.

Closing Soon!!! Global Pride Study

The Global Pride Survey is closing in the next week or two. We’ve had a fantastic response from Australia. At the moment, we’re particularly seeking bisexual people, and trans, non-binary and gender diverse participants. The survey can be completed here.

The survey is targeting LGBTQ+ people, aged 18 and over, and focuses on building an international knowledge base on health, wellbeing and longevity across diverse cultural contexts. The survey is currently in a pilot phase involving the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Czechia, China, India, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Mexico, Pakistan, Poland, Taiwan, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States.

The study is approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Washington, and the Human Research Ethics Committee at Southern Cross University (Approval No. 2021/126)

Please share the message below widely among your networks.

Talk To Us First Free Online Training

Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN)

OPAN is offering a free online training about aged care advocacy.

Talk to Us First is a free, short education program dedicated to supporting aged care providers and professionals to understand the role of aged care advocacy and supporting older people, their families and representatives who may need our help. Undertaking this training will support aged care providers and professionals to meet the Aged Care Quality Standards 6 ensuring older people feel safe, encouraged, and supported to give feedback or make a complaint.

This short training is self-paced and accessible online at all times, or as set by your manager. It can be completed within 30 -45 minutes. After reading and watching the course content, there is a short quiz and feedback form

Enrol in the Talk To Us First training here and receive a certificate of completion on the assessment page.

CON Community Health Update MPXV (monkeypox)

ACON Community Health Update on MPXV (monkeypox) | 23 May 2022

The probable case of MPXV (commonly referred to as the ‘monkeypox’ virus) identified last week has now been confirmed by NSW Health. It is the first case of MPXV to be confirmed in NSW. There have been no reports of any other cases so far.

Cases of MPXV have been identified in several European countries. People who have recently returned from overseas, have attended any dance parties, sex parties or saunas, especially in Europe, and who develop any symptoms, particularly an unusual rash, should seek medical advice immediately.
NSW Health recommends anyone who has been to the following events or venues in Europe to look out for symptoms:

• Gay Pride Maspalomas in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain (5-15 May)
• Darklands Festival in Antwerp, Belgium (4-9 May)
• Any saunas and SOPVs in Mardrid, Spain in recent weeks

If you have symptoms, contact your GP or local sexual health clinic by phone or telehealth or call the NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624. Remember: do not attend a health service in the first instance – be sure to call first.

What are the symptoms of MPXV?
The incubation period (the time from infection to the onset of symptoms) of MPXV is usually 1-2 weeks but can be up to 21 days. Symptoms include a fever, headache, muscle aches, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash or lesions (symptoms are similar to COVID or the flu).
The rash usually begins within one to three days of the start of a fever, and tends to be more concentrated on the face, arms and legs. It can also be found on the mouth, genitals and eyes. The rash could be MPXV, syphilis or herpes.

How is MPXV transmitted?
MPXV is transmitted through close physical contact with someone who has symptoms.
The rash, bodily fluids (such as fluid, pus or blood from skin lesions) and scabs are particularly infectious. Ulcers, lesions or sores in the mouth can also be infectious, meaning the virus can spread through saliva. Clothing, linens or objects that have come into contact with a person who has MPXV can also infect others. MPXV has not been previously described as a sexually transmitted infection, but it can spread in sexual networks through direct contact during sex or clothing and bedding used by someone with MPXV.

How is MPXV treated?
Most people with MPXV have a mild self-limiting illness and recover within a few weeks without specific treatment. There are some therapies available for the treatment of MPXV, particularly for people at high-risk such as those who are immunosuppressed.

Because MPXV is closely related to the virus that causes smallpox, the smallpox vaccine can protect people from getting MPXV. Vaccines may be indicated in persons at greatest risk of getting MPXV.

Why are cases of MPXV being detected among gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men?
A large number of cases detected overseas are among gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men. One reason for this is the active health seeking behaviour of gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men around sexual health. Because MPXV rashes can resemble some STIs, such as herpes or syphilis, cases are being detected in sexual health clinics around the world.

It’s important to note that the risk of MPXV is not limited to gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men. MPXV is spread from person to person through close contact. Anyone who has close contact with someone who is infectious is at risk. Stigmatising people because of a disease is never okay. Anyone can get or pass on MPXV regardless of their sexuality.

If you have recently returned from overseas …
People who have recently returned from overseas, have attended any dance parties, sex parties or saunas – especially in Europe – and who develop any of these symptoms, particularly an unusual rash, should seek medical advice immediately.

Call the NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624 or call your GP or local sexual health clinic via phone or telehealth. Remember: do not attend a health service in the first instance – be sure to call first.

If you are planning to travel overseas …
If you are planning to travel overseas and attending any festival or parties, you can reduce your risk of contracting MPXV by avoiding close contact, including sexual contact, with people who have suspected or confirmed MPXV. Avoid skin-to-skin contact particularly with any rash or lesions.

As always, practice good hygiene, self-isolate if unwell and seek medical attention if you develop any symptoms.

ACON is continuing to monitor developments and will provide updates to our communities as the situation evolves.

From NAPWHA newsletter

Read the original article here.

My Aged Care

Need aged care services? Don’t know how or where to begin?

MY AGED CARE is the starting point to access Australian government-funded aged care services.
The phone line and website can help older Australians, their families and carers to get the help and support they need. or phone MY AGED CARE cact centre on 1800 200 422.