The Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS) works to respond to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C among culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in NSW.
The service is based on the principle that understanding culture and language is vital if individuals and communities from CALD backgrounds are to access health appropriately and equitably.
We also recognise that community participation and cultural input are central to better health for people from CALD backgrounds.
We employ bilingual/bicultural Cultural Support Workers (CSWs) from more than 20 language backgrounds drawn from priority African, Asian, Middle Eastern, European and Central and Latin American communities.
Our CSWs come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, and have been selected for their language and cultural skills as well as their sensitivity to HIV and viral hepatitis issues. They are also diverse in terms of age, sexuality, gender and life experience and receive on-going training and supervision.
The CSWs are integral to ensuring cultural input and facilitating community participation in our work.