Updated Guidelines: Australian STI & HIV Testing Guidelines 2019 for Asymptomatic MSM

Sexually Transmissible Infections in Gay Men Action Group (STIGMA), September 2019

Most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are asymptomatic. Testing and treatment of asymptomatic men who have sex with men (MSM) is the most effective method to interrupt transmission and reduce the burden of illness. In particular, syphilis is increasingly common, is often asymptomatic, and can cause significant morbidity.

The main barriers to STI control are insufficient frequency of testing in MSM, and incomplete testing. For example, chlamydia and gonorrhoea tests should be performed at all three sites (swab of oropharynx and anorectum, and first
pass urine), and syphilis serology should be performed every time a HIV test or HIV treatment monitoring is performed.

HIV is now a medically preventable infection. All men who are eligible under the Australian HIV Pre-Exposure guidelines should be actively offered PrEP: www.ashm.org.au/HIV/PrEP All people with HIV should be advised to commence treatment and, where possible, have an undetectable viral load.
These guidelines are intended for all MSM, including trans men who have sex with other men .

This current version is endorsed by the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Sexual Health Medicine, Australasian Sexual Health Alliance, Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and is approved as an accepted clinical resource by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Support for ending and managing HIV

Australian Government Department of Health, 29 November 2018

The Australian Government is strengthening its commitment to ending HIV with the announcement of funding for a new strategy that aims to virtually eliminate the transmission of HIV, the approval of the first HIV self-testing kit and the listing of a new medicine on the PBS.

The first HIV self-testing kit, the Atomo Self Test was approved for use by the TGA yesterday. The test is a single-use rapid finger stick test for the detection of antibodies to HIV and will enable people to test for HIV in their own home.

This will make testing accessible and convenient especially for people that need to test frequently or do not test at all.

The medicine Juluca® (dolutegravir and rilpivirine), which works to stop the replication of the HIV virus, will be listed on the PBS on December 1, which is World AIDS Day.

 

Hepatitis B testing infographic now available

Hepatitis NSW, October 2017

With the increasing visibility of hep B, Hepatitis NSW felt there was a need to make information about hep B testing clearer. It can be a complex subject to grapple with and there’s lots of misinformation and confusion out there.

This hep B testing infographic aims to give both doctors and patients a clearer understanding of what tests to do as well as what the test results mean. On one side, we have an explanation of what the tests results mean which a doctor can use to explain a person’s results. On the other side, we have the reminder for the doctor to test the 3 key hep B tests. It’s really important to get all three done at once.

The aim is for people to take this infographic with them when they go and see their doctor about hep B testing – whether that’s checking their immunity, seeing if they’ve ever been exposed, or seeing if they have a hep B infection.

People can also call the Hepatitis SA Infoline on 1800 437 222 for further information.

  • Download infographic in English, Korean or Mandarin here 

Australian Needle and Syringe Program Survey: National Data Report 2012 – 2016

The Kirby Institute, UNSW, May 2017

The Australian Needle and Syringe Program Survey (ANSPS) provides serial point prevalence estimates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies and sexual and injecting risk behaviour among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Australia.
Conducted annually over a one-two week period in October, all clients attending participating needle and syringe program (NSP) services are invited to complete a brief, anonymous questionnaire and to provide a capillary blood sample for HIV and HCV antibody testing.
This report presents national and state/territory data for the period 2012 to 2016.

Key findings:

  • In 2016, 50 Australian Needle and Syringe Programs (NSPs) participated in the ANSPS and 2,210 NSP attendees completed the survey. The response rate was 41%.
  • Over the period 2012 to 2016, the median age of survey respondents increased from 38 years to 42 years, with a concurrent decrease in the proportion of young injectors (aged <25 years) from 7% in 2012 to 4% in 2016.
  • HIV antibody prevalence remained low and stable nationally, ranging from 1.2% to 2.1% over the period 2012 to 2016
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody prevalence was stable over the period 2012 to 2016, ranging from 51% to 57%.
  • Nationally, the proportion of respondents who reported recent (last 12 months) initiation of HCV treatment was low and stable at 1-3% between 2011-2015, but increased significantly to 22% in 2016, with substantial increases observed in all jurisdictions.

Download Australian Needle and Syringe Program Survey: National Data Report 2012 – 2016 (PDF) 

HIV scientists launch $30 million global project to develop a vaccine

Kirby Institute, Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Researchers at UNSW’s Kirby Institute in Sydney and the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, together with scientific collaborators from 22 institutions around the world today announced a joint initiative to accelerate the search for an effective HIV vaccine.

Read more here

Concern over online gonorrhoea treatment (UK)

,

Some websites offering treatment for gonorrhoea put patients at risk by not following best treatment guidelines, BBC 5 Live Investigates has found.

Read more here