Access to health and social care for members of affected communities: Rights and realities

Event date: 
4 Dec 2013
11:00am to 12:30pm
Staff Common Room, Level 2, UNSW Law
Access to health care
Jed Horner, Joh Rule, Kenneth Yates
9385 1803


The right to health is enshrined in international law and state parties have a positive duty to ensure its progressive realisation. In spite of this obligation, and the burgeoning interest in the notion of health equity, members of national and sexual minorities, including migrants and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) people, as well as other stigmatised groups such as injecting drug users, continue to experience persistent disparities in health and wellbeing, as well as inequities in access to health and social care.

This seminar will address these pressing issues, using case-studies from three distinct research projects focusing on: tuberculosis amongst migrants in Sydney, needle and syringe programs for injecting drug users in Western Sydney and HIV prevention amongst gay and bisexual men. It will provoke discussion and debate over Australia’s contemporary approaches to managing these distinct issues and address the question: how are we really faring in caring for members of affected, and often marginalised, communities through our health policies and health and social services?



  • Jed Horner, PhD candidate, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW 
  • Dr. John Rule, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW 
  • Kenneth Yates, PhD candidate, Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW



The symposium will feature three presentations, each for 15 mins duration, and will be chaired by Professor Andrea Durbach, Director the Australian Human Rights Centre, Faculty of Law, UNSW.

Three discussants, with expertise in the area(s), will make concluding observations and remarks, from a clinical, research and policy perspective. These discussants will be drawn from:

  • Professor Peter Aggleton, Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW
  • Michael Frommer, Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO)
  • Melissa Woodroffe, HIV/AIDS Legal Centre (HALC)
  • Guy Marks, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Tuberculosis Control



Jed Horner is a PhD candidate in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine and a project director for the Australian Human Rights Centre at the University of New South Wales. His research focuses on the health and wellbeing of marginalised communities, including sexual and national minorities, and draws on social epidemiology, critical legal studies and political theory. His work has appeared in the Australian Health Review, New Political Science and Critical Public Health.

Dr. John Rule worked as a Research Associate in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales from 2010.  He was formerly the Deputy Director of the National Association of People Living with HIV Australia (NAPWHA). Currently he is active in research projects in Papua New Guinea focussing on the health outcomes and experiences of stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV. He was the co-editor and co-author of the lead chapter of an important monograph The Criminalisation of HIV Transmission in Australia: Legality Reality Morality, published by NAPWHA in 2008. His published work, in health service provision, has also appeared recently in the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health and the Pacific Health Dialogue

Kenneth Yates is a PhD candidate at the National Centre for HIV Social Research at the University of New South Wales. His research focuses on people who inject drugs, who also access needle and syringe programs (NSPs) in Western Sydney. The research draws on social and cultural theory around the production of identity and subjectivity, and considers how interactions between NSP services and clients can act as processes of de-marginalisation.