Sector Release

8 December 2017

The Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL), in partnership with The ID Crowd and Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM), announce the release of a new online training module designed to enhance communication and understanding between people who use drugs and healthcare professionals.

The ‘Normal Day’ podcast series and resources – created in collaboration with boutique learning consultancy, the ID Crowd – features conversations between a range of healthcare professionals and people who use drugs on the challenges and misunderstandings that occur within the clinical relationship. The opportunity for learning is delivered through an innovative series of podcasts and accompanying practical resources that follow the patient through the process of renewing a prescription.

Drawing on their experience in creating human-centered learning, the ID Crowd created a solution that aimed to bridge the gap between the two audience groups. With an ethos of taking complicated subject matter and turning it into meaningful learning that creates real change, the decision to do a podcast series was an easy one. “We worked with AIVL and our development partners to develop a series of stories based on interviews with real people in the field. We saw it as a great opportunity to look into each other’s worlds and begin to work towards a shared understanding between health professionals and people who use drugs,” says The ID Crowd Managing Director, Nicole White.

The six part series includes interviews with GPs, pharmacists, researchers, emergency room physicians and GP receptionists who provide unique insights and rarely heard perspectives on the clinical relationship.

“We know that for many people who use drugs, because of the stigmas towards drug use, interacting with health professionals can oftentimes be a nerve-wracking and unpleasant experience. This causes delays in accessing support for health issues or not raising them at all,” said AIVL Chief Executive Officer, Melanie Walker. “What we want with ‘A Normal Day’ is for a clinical interaction to be just that – a normal, everyday, uneventful experience.”

As demand for new hepatitis C virus treatments increases, health care professionals’ understanding of the issues faced by people who use drugs and confidence in working with these communities becomes even more important.

"ASHM is committed to improving the patient experience across health care settings by challenging the stigma and discrimination that all too often face people living with a blood-borne virus," says Scott McGill, Acting CEO, ASHM.

Brent Allan, ASHM Senior Coordinator of the Removing Barriers project, adds "AIVL is a key community partner in the Removing Barriers Project and their work to challenge the prejudice that people who inject drugs face leads the way in helping health care workers understand the lived experience of the population group."

‘A Normal Day’ is available on the ASHM Learning Portal from 8 December 2017 To access, visit and register your details.


About the Project Stakeholders

AIVL is the national organisation representing people who use/have used illicit drugs and is the peak body for the state and territory peer-based drug user organisations.

The ID Crowd is a boutique learning consultancy focused on creating human-centred learning experiences. Their ethos is taking complicated subject matter and turning it into simplified and meaningful learning experiences – that create real change.

ASHM is a peak organisation of health professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections. ASHM draws on its experience and expertise to support the health workforce and to contribute to the sector, domestically and internationally.


For Media Enquiries

Melanie Walker, CEO, Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL), 0438 430 963

Nicole White, Managing Director, The ID Crowd, 0404 006 097

Saysana Sirimanotham, Communications and Marketing, Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine, (02) 8204 0763