Heroin deaths spike as investigations begin into ‘strong batch’ in SA

ABC News, 23rd August 2016

Toxicologists have begun investigating a spike in heroin-related deaths as emergency and health services are put on high alert in South Australia.

Read more here

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PEP after Non-Occupational and Occupational Exposure to HIV: Australian Guidelines revised

Our apologies to those who tried to access SASHA while it was down. The technical difficulties have now been resolved.


Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine, August 2016

The Second edition of the Post-Exposure Prophylaxis after Non-Occupational and Occupational Exposure to HIV: Australian National Guidelines is now available.

These guidelines outline the management of individuals who have been exposed (or suspect they have been exposed) to HIV in non-occupational and occupational settings.

There are currently no data from randomised controlled trials of the use of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and evidence for use has been extrapolated from animal data, mother to child transmission, occupational exposure and small prospective studies of PEP regimens in HIV-negative men. Accordingly, assumptions are made about the direction of management.

Every presentation for PEP should be assessed on a case-by-case basis, balancing the potential harms and benefits of treatment.

Recommendations following non-occupational exposure have been updated, and information about PEP in the context of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), PEP and children, renal disease, and gender identity and history has been added.

  • Download the revised guidelines (PDF) here
  • Updates to the supplementary documents, as well as a navigable website for the guidelines, will soon be available. At present, the 2013 literature review and checklist are still available, linked below:

    PEP Checklist (2013)

    Literature Review (2013)


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Two surveys for young LGBTIQ people

19 August, 2016

There are currently two surveys seeking data from young Australian LGBTIQ people, in order to ultimately assess and improve worker’s practice when it comes to this population, and the overall wellbeing of communities.

  1. University of Tasmania – How Young LGBTIQ+ people in Australia use digital social media.

A team of researchers at the University of Tasmania are currently working on a research project that examines how young (aged 16-35) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, or questioning (LGBTIQ+) people in Australia use digital social media.

They know that social media and technology is important for LGBTIQ+ young people in Australia but they want to know more about how they use different platforms (like Facebook and Snapchat). They want to improve the information available to people who work with these young people, with the overall aim to enhance their overall wellbeing.

So they are asking young LGBTIQ+ people in Australia to fill in a short survey about their experiences using social media. All respondents can go in the draw to win a $30 iTunes gift card.

The survey is anonymous, and young people can skip any question they are not comfortable answering.

The survey will take up to 15 minutes, and can be accessed here

2. University of Western Australia – the mental health experiences and care pathways of trans* young people

This research aims to improve the lives of trans* individuals growing up in Australia by exploring possible barriers to accessing services. This information will help to inform policies, health professionals, other researchers, parents of trans* individuals, other trans* young people and the wider community about how relevant services can best meet the needs of trans* young people.

This study is open to both trans* young people and parents or guardians of trans* young people. If you are living in Australia and you are a trans* young person aged 14-25, or if you are a parent/guardian of a trans* young person 25 or younger you are able to participate. Young people are able to participate in this research without the consent of their parent/guardian, and because you don’t provide your name, parents/guardians will not be made aware of a young person’s participation. If you are a young person, you should only consider participating in this study if you feel that you are mature enough to answer the questions on this topic.

Information will be presented in such a way that you will remain anonymous. You don’t have to answer anything you don’t want to and you can also stop doing the survey if you feel upset.

The survey will take about a half hour of your time, and can be accessed here 

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HPV vaccination reduces abnormal Pap tests

Reuters, Wed August 6, 2016 1:58pm EDT

Young women who get the recommended three doses of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine have fewer abnormal Pap tests than unvaccinated women and women who only get two doses, Canadian researchers say.

Read more here


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HIV prevention drug PrEP being tested on high-risk adolescents

Sydney Morning Herald, July 21 2016

A preventative HIV drug being used by thousands of gay men in Australia is being tested on teenagers at high risk of the virus.

Studies have shown that PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) offers near complete protection against HIV if taken properly every day. Researchers are now testing it on young people in South Africa and the US.

Read more here

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