African communities are responding positively to our Hepatitis B Project.

The project, which started early this year in response to the prevailing epidemic, has identified a series of strategies to engage African communities in addressing the issue.

“The early response has been very encouraging, despite some challenges,” said Lucy Mukoko, project officer from the Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS).

“There is a lack of awareness about hepatitis B in our communities, so often it’s not taken seriously. Now that we’ve gained the support of some key people in our communities, we are starting to see more interest and are getting requests for more education sessions. This is very exciting, but we still have a long way to go before we have full hepatitis B awareness.”

Successful education sessions have been organised with Sierra Leonian and Ethiopian communities recently and more workshops are planned for the Zimbabwean and other communities in the coming months.

For more information about the workshops and the African Hepatitis B Project, please contact Lucy Mukoko on 95151234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The SCOTS College English language school, in collaboration with the MHAHS, held HIV information sessions for more than 300 students at its City campus this week.

The sessions were aimed at providing students with accurate and appropriate information about HIV, according to the MHAHS International Student Project Officer, Gula Sapthari.

“Around the world, lack of appropriate information is often one of the reasons why people remain unaware of HIV. Health interventions through education providers often have a large reach. We hope our initiative will help reach what is still largely an isolated and vulnerable student population,” Ms Sapthari said.

Four concurrent sessions were held in the morning and evening at the school with students assigned different groups depending on their English proficiency. MHAHS educators led the sessions and encouraged students to ask questions about the epidemic.

School Director, Joe Lynch said: “the sessions were an important opportunity for students to practice their English language skills as well as discuss what is still a taboo topic in many culturally diverse communities. Understanding HIV testing, treatment and prevention can only help improve students’ access to these key services.”

Evaluation suggested the students found the sessions highly engaging with many calling the sessions “honest”, “excellent” and “useful” as well as thanking the organisers for inviting people living with HIV to share their powerful experiences.

The International Student Project aims to  raise awareness of contemporary HIV testing, prevention and treatment options among overseas students studying in NSW. It encourages international students to seek free help from relevant HIV services if they feel they are at risk while studying in NSW.

For more project details, contact Gula Sapthari on 9515 1234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
More than 20,000 people gathered at the Wyatt Park, Lidcombe to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Africultures festival at the weekend.

The one day community event, which showcases offerings of traditional food, music, art from 40 of Africa’s 53 sovereign nations also saw participation from various health services with information stalls.

Our African Community Development Project Officer, Lucy Mukoko organised a hepatitis B information stall to support the occasion.

“The anniversary marks an important milestone for our community to reflect and celebrate. It is also an opportunity to share information that promotes the health of the community.  The MHAHS  hepatitis B stall is our way of celebrating the occasion while raising community awareness about hepatitis B and encouraging people to get tested,” Ms Mukoko said.

For more information about our African Hepatitis B Project, contact Lucy Mukoko on 9515 1234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The joint campaign with Pozhet NSW will use Facebook to promote HIV Home Testing for earlier diagnosis

The Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS) will launch a social media campaign to promote HIV home testing next week.

The Do you need a HIV Test? campaign will encourage people from diverse backgrounds to order their HIV home testing kit online and reduce their risk of late diagnosis.

At the centre of the campaign is an animation video which shows how to order the free self-sampling HIV testing kit online, how to use the kit to collect a small blood sample and send it away for testing.

The campaign is part of  our effort to raise awareness of HIV testing among diverse communities and prevent late diagnosis, according to Barbara Luisi, manager of the MHAHS.

“Our campaign shows how easy it is to order the free home testing kit online and do the test in the privacy of your home. The test is confidential and you don’t have to see a doctor or go to a clinic.

HIV remains a public health concern in Australia with an estimated 26,444 people living with HIV in Australia in 2016. Nearly one in ten Australians living with HIV are unaware they have the virus and may be unknowingly passing on the virus to others.

The HIV home testing kit, Dried Blood Spot HIV Test (DBS) can be ordered online at

Visit the MHAHS at