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Sexuality in Australia’s Unworried Unwell: Confounding Factors in the Management of HIV

Sexuality in Australia’s Unworried Unwell: Confounding Factors in the Management of HIV

Advances in antiretroviral medications over the last two decades have greatly improved the quality of life for people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Acknowledgment of HIV status improves adherence to antiretroviral medication regimes that aim to reduce the viral load to be undetectable, reducing virus transmission and delaying immune system deterioration and associated symptoms. This state of wellness supports a person’s ability to engage in healthy sexual relationships.

However, for a variety of reasons some people living with HIV do not adhere to their medication regime and live with denial and fear of disclosure. This potentially contributes to HIV transmission and increased susceptibility of developing AIDS defining illnesses, which when left untreated may prove fatal. The term ‘unworried unwell’ is ascribed to people who are medically unwell yet unworried about health deterioration. Working with unworried unwell HIV positive clients in Australia can be challenging for professionals when clients resist medical or therapeutic intervention and do not acknowledge their health status.

The promotion of healthy sexual relationships within this population requires acceptance of HIV status and sexual health risk to address the unworried aspect, as well as engaging the client in dialogue around the advantages of medication to improve wellness in all aspects of the individual’s life. Addressing factors contributing to denial and the confounding factor of being unworried through education and therapeutic alliance supports the individual’s rights to sexual citizenship. Two case studies of unworried unwell clients enrolled in an Australian hospital based HIV outreach service will be presented to explore the therapeutic challenges and contributing factors in client’s noncompliance.

Speakers: Lisa Torney
Areas of Interest / Categories: Anti RetroViral Therapy, AOFS 2014, HIV, Prevention, Treatment

AOFS 2014

Ejaculation disorders - Diagnosis & Treatment.

The commonest male ejaculation disorder is Premature Ejaculation (PE). Inhibited or Delayed Ejaculation can be a more challenging condition to assess and treat. This discussion will focus on the diagnosis, investigations and management of ejaculation problems including an overview of the first medication specifically approved for the treatment of PE, dapoxetine, released under the trade name of Priligy™. 

Awareness and intent of Pap testing among sexually active university students in Korea

Unmarried women have not been a target group for cervical cancer prevention in Korea. This study was performed to identify the awareness of Pap testing in unmarried university students in Korea, and to investigate the factors associated with the intention to undergo Pap testing. 

Women's Sexuality Post Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is a traumatic event that results in a sudden life change that is difficult to conceptualise. No one can truly be prepared for such a huge shock. It impacts a person not just physically and neurologically, but also socially, emotionally and psychologically. Recovering from SCI has been likened to a “rebirth”. A person needs to reconstruct even the most basic activities of daily living. Sexuality, being an integral part of every person’s life, is also part of this reconstruction process. 

Sexual Orientation Identity Development: Implications for the Psychological Adjustment of Gay and Bisexual Young Males in Japan

According to previous studies, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people report lower levels of mental health relative to heterosexuals. Young LGB people especially suffer from poorer psychological adjustment. However, it remains unclear whether different developmental identity patterns have implications for the psychological adjustment of LGB youths. There is a possibility that the development of sexual orientation identity is related to the better mental health among young LGB people. This study examines whether different patterns of LGB identity formation and integration are associated with psychological adjustment. 

Considering the partner of the women with sexual pain

In this presentation, Dr Redelman reviews some strategies to improving therapeutic outcomes by considering partner characteristics, such as personality and coping style, and relationship dynamics.

Using a mind/body model for the management of Sexual Pain

Dr Anita Elias will present a practical assessment and management tool that helps patients understand the connection between their thoughts, emotions and physical sexual responses. This model considers

Understanding the Whole-Person Centred approach to inspire authentic human connection

Within the scope of defining sexuality, complexities are often overlooked when delivering education to young people. We know that each person experiences and expresses their sexuality differently, and that influences come from a wide range of external interactions. Yet the tendency can sometimes be to focus on the biological and ‘safe’ zones of discussion, rather than engaging young people to think more deeply about the interwoven dimensions and how it applies to them.