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New film uses 'Infectious Personalities' to tackle healthcare discrimination
Monday, 3 December 2012
A new Hepatitis Queensland film launched this month confronts hepatitis and HIV discrimination in healthcare using personal stories and interviews with healthcare professionals.
Infectious Personalities explores the emotional and physical impacts of stigma experienced by four Queenslanders and the barriers this can create to accessing healthcare.
Hepatitis Queensland CEO Clint Ferndale said the film shows the human face of stigma.
“These are personal stories from real people - likable and engaging everyday-characters with a powerful message that seems to be resonating with audiences,” Mr Ferndale said.
“Stigma and discrimination towards people with viral hepatitis or HIV is unfortunately still alive and well in Australia. We still get calls to our helpline from Queenslanders experiencing stigma in healthcare, employment, and personal relationships.
“In April this year the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine released a report showing that, ‘health care workers often hold negative views of people with HIV and HCV, mirroring those of the general public’. The research shows that stigma and discrimination can have ‘a major impact on receipt of care and may act as an impediment to disclosure, testing, and treatment.’
“However, the real story with this film is the great work and support provided by so many healthcare professionals in Queensland and the tremendous positive impact that can have on someone’s life. Infectious Personalities describes practical ways that healthcare professional can engage with patients and the standard precautions that should be observed, with all patients regardless of status.
At the end of the day it’s all about debunking paranoia, and treating people the way that you would like to be treated.”
Mr Ferndale said the film production company, FlickChicks, had a personal and engaging approach to film-making, with their recent documentary The 100+ Club winning a 2012 Media Peace Award from the United Nations Association of Australia and a Merit Award at the Lucerne International Film Festival in Switzerland. The 100+ Club was the highest rated program this year on the ABC Compass program.
Infectious Personalities was filmed in Brisbane as a partnership between Hepatitis Queensland, Healthy Communities, Queensland Positive People, and the Queensland Positive Speakers Bureau, with funding assistance from Queensland Health.
Saturday 1 December was the 25th commemoration of World AIDS Day.
The film is available online or on a free DVD available from Hepatitis Queensland at www.hepqld.asn.au
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