The end of the Pap smear

Written by SMH | Deborah Bateson on . Posted in News & Updates

As a women's health doctor for more than 20 years I have taken thousands of Pap smears and taught many hundreds of doctors and nurses the skill of taking cells from the cervix and placing them on a glass slide.

The Pap smear detects pre-cancerous cellular changes and has been the cornerstone of the National Cervical Screening Program since its implementation in 1991. It has served Australian women extremely well and resulted in one of the lowest rates of cervical cancer in the world.

However, there is significant room for improvement. The government announced on Monday the end date for the Pap smear. On December 1, it will be superseded by a new test for the human papilloma virus (HPV).

An online campaign aimed at persuading Malcolm Turnbull to stop this change has gained traction, but while the campaign may be well-intentioned, it is also misinformed. There are many reasons, based on science as well as equity, why the new program should be supported.

The change is based on new knowledge about HPV's role in the development of cervical cancer, new HPV testing technology and, last but not least, the successful uptake of the HPV vaccine by 12 and 13-year-old girls and boys in our school-based vaccination program.

Thanks to many years of pioneering work by scientific and clinical leaders, Australia is on the cusp of rolling out a program which will not only improve our ability to detect changes on the cervix, but also improve screening rates for women who have never had a Pap smear before.

Read the full story at SMH > >

SHFPACT Council

Written by SHFPACT on . Posted in News & Updates

Your elected representatives

The ‘Council’ is what we call the governing body at SHFPACT, commonly called a board or committee in other organisations. Council members are elected by the membership to two-year terms at the Annual General Meeting, and then the specific office bearers are appointed at the first meeting of the Council following the AGM. Following last year’s annual general meeting, the following Council members and office bearers were elected:

  • Joanna Spratt (President)
  • Matt Sammels (Vice-President)
  • Sunny Lee (Treasurer)
  • Janelle Weissman (Secretary)
  • Alice Knight
  • Jane Hadrill
  • Camilla Burkot
  • Bronwyn Clark
  • Matthew Noonan

Members who are interested in contributing to the life of the organisation through the Council and its sub-committees can also be appointed to periodic vacancies. If you are interested, please get in touch with Executive Director Tim Bavinton by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Safe Schools Coalition ACT

Written by SHFPACT on . Posted in News & Updates

SHFPACT is proud to work with Canberra schools and our collaborating partners to support school communities to be safe and inclusive places for same-sex attracted, intersex, and gender diverse students.

Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT (SHFPACT) has a long record of service provision and advocacy to meet the identified needs of same-sex attracted, sex- and gender-diverse Canberrans, and is proud of a longstanding commitment to gender equity in health, education and community services through our training programs for professionals in these industries.

For SHFPACT, the Safe Schools Coalition program represents a continuation and extension of this commitment to helping families as primary educators and schools as formal educators for Canberra's young people.

Are women suffering in silence?

Written by Australasian Menopause Society on . Posted in News & Updates

New survey puts spotlight on significant impact of menopause despite recent guideline

Findings presented at the British Menopause Society’s annual conference show only half of women surveyed in Great Britain (who are currently experiencing or who have experienced menopausal symptoms within the past ten years) consult a healthcare professional for any of their menopause symptoms

A new survey conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the British Menopause Society (BMS) has revealed that one in two women in Great Britain (aged 45-65 who are currently experiencing or who have experienced menopausal symptoms within the past ten years) go through the menopause without consulting a healthcare professional.1 This is despite women surveyed reporting on average seven different symptoms and 42% saying their symptoms were worse or much worse than expected.[1]

More than 200 leading women’s health experts from around the world gathered at the BMS’s annual conference to discuss recent advances in menopause research, and the impact of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline on addressing the often overlooked needs of women experiencing the menopause.

It was hoped that the recently published NICE guideline on the diagnosis and management of the menopause would encourage more women to seek help and access to safe and effective treatments. Worryingly however, only 3% of those surveyed had heard of the guideline.[1]

ACT Government support Safe Schools in Canberra

Written by SHFPACT on . Posted in News & Updates

 

We are very pleased to see ACT Government funding support announced today by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Minister for Education Shane Rattenbury.

SHFPACT has been the lead agency with many local community and health service partners in the delivery of the Safe Schools Coalition ACT program funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA). Local partners include well-known and respected organisations like AIDS Action Council, A Gender Agenda, Northside Community Service, Belconnen Community Service, headspace Canberra, and Youth Coalition ACT.

The program has enjoyed the strong support of ACT Government, and other community and professional groups. SHFPACT Executive Director Tim Bavinton said, “The Canberra community is generally quite progressive, and the program has enjoyed positive community support in its goals to address prejudice and discrimination on the basis of sexuality, sex and gender identity in school communities. The Program has been delivered as a support to schools, with school leaders firmly in the driving seat about what kinds of support and resources they needed that reflected the particular needs of their school and community.”

Make an appointment or talk to us today!

Call 6247 3077 during business hours Monday to Friday.

For urgent concerns where SHFPACT is unable to respond in the time required please see your GP or the Walk-in Clinic at the Canberra Hospital, or call HealthDirect on 1800 022 222. For assistance in an emergency please call 000 or 112 (digital mobile phone) or 106 (TTY, text based emergency number).

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