Sector Release

5 an 12 May 2018

On 5 May, the International Confederation of Midwives theme for 2018 is Midwives leading the way with quality care. ASHM acknowledges the vital role that Midwives have in the care, management and prevention of HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs for women and their newborns. International Nurses Day follows on 12 May with the International Council of Nurses'  2018 theme being 'Nurses: A voice to lead, health is a human right'. Read some messages from Scott McGill (ASHM Acting CEO) and Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian College of Nursing.


A message from Scott McGill, ASHM’s Acting CEO

in support of Midwives and Nurses for International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses Day

It is not widely known that when ASHM started in 1989 it was as the Australian Society for AIDS Physicians – and even less appreciated that since those early days it is nurses and midwives and not in fact medical doctors who make up the largest proportion of ASHM members.

ASHM is committed to supporting this critical part of the BBV and STI workforce in Australia, New Zealand and in our region through ensuring that nurses and midwives are included in:

  • workforce development opportunities
  • policy support (position statements and submission supporting HIV/HBV/HCV nurse practitioner prescribing)
  • resources (clinical practice guidelines in BBV and STIs)
  • collaborations with peer nursing bodies across the health sector
  • conference scholarship programs as well as ensuring the opportunity to network and present at national and international conferences

The nurses and midwives we work with and support are highly valued and we regularly canvas you as a group to ensure that we are tailoring our programs and efforts to the needs of the workforce.  You are supported by an impressive group of clinical nurse advisors, our own Clinical Nurse Lead in ASHM, and two nurse representatives on our Board. We are always happy to hear from you and let us know if we can be of any assistance in your work.


A message from Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian College of Nursing

One of the main challenges for sexual health care professionals is to address the emotional and social barriers that discourage people from undergoing testing and treatment for STIs and BBVs, particularly among young people. By creating a supportive and non-judgemental environment, nurses are able to address the underlying issues involved, including the social and psychological impacts of screening or a positive diagnosis. 

A substantial part of your work involves providing evidence-based education to ensure that clients have the information they need to evaluate results, and to make informed choices to manage their own health and wellbeing.

The introduction of nurse-led clinics has been successful in screening and treating STIs and BBVs throughout Australia, including regional and remote areas. Nurses have fostered a collaborative approach with other health services, including mental health, corrections and drug and alcohol services, to provide appropriate education programs to reduce the risk of undiagnosed STIs and BBVs.

The increase in public awareness through sexual health programs and nurse-led clinics has empowered nurses to actively promote positive norms and address perceived stigma surrounding STI and BBV testing and treatment.

I would like to acknowledge each of you for your contribution to communities all over Australia and for your leadership in this area. The opportunities for nurses to expand our roles, particularly in primary health, are exciting and I look forward to being informed of your progress.

Happy International Nurses Day.

We are powerful individually - together we’re unstoppable.