Some earlier research makes the point that harm reduction policies and services need to give specific attention to the characteristics and needs of female IDUs – including female Indigenous IDUs42. One Australian source, for example, argues that '(S)trategies to reduce sharing of equipment might target women in particular, who demonstrate higher rates of sharing than their male counterparts'43.

This report has noted that there are significant numbers of female Indigenous IDUs, and also that some women take responsibility for obtaining clean injecting equipment on behalf of partners or others. However, there are some NSP outlets which are largely or solely staffed by non-Indigenous male workers, and which may give the impression of being pretty much a male domain. It is essential that Indigenous women can feel comfortable accessing whatever NSP outlets are available in their area. The most obvious way of addressing this is by ensuring an appropriate gender mix in staffing of services. In Adelaide, for example, the comment was made that the female member of the Nunkuwarrin Yunti outreach team is often approached separately by female clients. SAVIVE in Adelaide has numbers of women NSP workers, and the mobile service operated by the WA AIDS Council has a twoperson team of Indigenous workers, one male and one female.

Footnotes

42 For example Day C and Dolan K, 'Characteristics of Indigenous Injecting Drug Users in Sydney: gender, prison history and treatment experiences', National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales; paper presented at the Best Practice Interventions in Corrections for Indigenous People Conference convened by the Australian Institute of Criminology Sydney, 8-9 October 2001.
43 Stafford J, Black E, Degenhardt L (National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre), 'Drug Trends Bulletin' June 2006.