Waniska is an Indigenous-led centre that researches HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and other sexually transmitted blood borne illnesses (STBBI) from an Indigenous perspective.
A lot of progress been made over the past 20 years studying the HIV/HCV/STBBI epidemic, but research has been limited to individual and group-level risk factors. This research has ignored the social, colonial and historical contexts of Indigenous HIV/HCV/STBBI-related health problems and the unequal access to screening, diagnosis, treatment, care and social support.
To bring about the changes Indigenous peoples need, Waniska will reframe these studies and programs and develop new approaches based on Indigenous beliefs and methods.
Location, history and social contexts matter for Indigenous peoples, so Waniska will do the following:
- build innovative land-and culture-based research
- develop and innovate implementation/program research projects
- grow and sustain infrastructure to support Indigenous communities and academics
- train and mentor the next generation of Indigenous scholars, practitioners and community members in HIV/HCV/STBBI research, scholarship and knowledge mobilisation
- create critical partnerships to address the higher rates of HIV/HCV/STBBI among Indigenous peoples