SHINE SA Media Release: World AIDS Day – Every Journey Counts

World AIDS Day is marked on 1 December each year, to raise awareness across the world and in the community about the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. It is a day to show support for people living with HIV and to commemorate loved ones who we have lost to the epidemic.

The day also aims to encourage Australians to educate themselves and others about HIV and to ensure that people living with HIV can participate fully in the life of the community, free from stigma and discrimination.

HIV still exists in Australia and can affect anyone. While there is still no vaccine or cure for HIV, there are now highly effective treatments and prevention options. People with HIV can take medications on a daily basis to maintain their HIV at an undetectable level and to keep them healthy. Today, HIV is considered a chronic but manageable condition, and people with HIV can lead long and healthy lives, with a similar life expectancy to a person who does not have HIV.

Natasha Miliotis, SHINE SA’s Chief Executive Officer said that:

“Like many other conditions, HIV can be prevented. By being informed about what HIV is and how it can be transmitted, we can take measures to look after ourselves and others.”

SHINE SA encourages people looking to test for or talk about HIV to visit one of our clinics, or contact SAMESH, a collaborative program of Thorne Harbour Health and SHINE SA.

You can show your support for people with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness and support. You can also find a World AIDS Day event near you by visiting www.worldaidsday.org.au.

To read SHINE SA’s Fact Sheet on HIV visit: www.shinesa.org.au/health-information/sexually-transmitted-infections/hiv/

For further information and media enquiries contact Tracey Hutt, Director Workforce Education and Development 

What’s new in HIV and hep C? An update for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers

Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM), June 2019

This Deadly Sex Update webinar provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and community workers with an introduction and the latest news in hepatitis C and HIV.

The information presented supports health workers to discuss key messages with clients and the community around hep C and HIV, including testing, prevention, current treatments and management.

Presenter: Dr Darren Russell, Director of Cairns Sexual Health.
Presented on: Monday 10 June 2019

What’s new in HIV and hep C? An update for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers. Dr Darren Russell, June 2019 from ASHM on Vimeo.

Koala retrovirus leads scientists to discover ‘second immune system’

ABC Science, 12/10/2019

The retrovirus spreading through the koala population is bad news. But studies of the koala infection have led scientists to a surprising discovery: a “second immune system” in the species, according to research published on Saturday in the journal Cell.

This system, which the researchers think exists in all mammals, has a role fighting off viruses that are in the same class as deadly human diseases such as HIV. This “second immune system” may illuminate new ways to treat HIV, said Damian Purcell, who heads up virology research at the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

Medicare ineligible PLHIV in Australia

NAPWHA, May 2019

This NAPWHA report is an analysis drawing together several years’ worth of data from the main pharmaceutical industry suppliers of compassionate access antiretroviral (ARV) therapy in Australia and combines this with, for the first time, data from the State and Territory jurisdictions to produce the most accurate estimate to-date of the number of Medicare ineligible PLHIV in Australia. It comes with recommendations for systemic improvements.

HIV diagnoses in Australia drop to lowest number in 18 years: report

Kirby Institute, July 3rd, 2019

Australia continues to lead the world in HIV prevention and in 2018 recorded the lowest number of HIV diagnoses since 2001.

According to a report released today by the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney, last year there were 835 HIV diagnoses across the country, which represents a decline of 23% over five years.

The declines reported today are largely due to reductions in the number of HIV diagnoses that are reported as attributable to sex between men. Over the past five years, HIV diagnoses have reduced by 30% among this population.

The report reveals no declines among heterosexual populations, with new diagnoses relatively stable among this group.

Similarly, there have been no declines in HIV diagnoses among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

Lastest Gay Community Periodic Survey for Adelaide released

Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW, June 2019

Gay Community Periodic Survey: Adelaide 2018

Authors: Broady, T., Mao, L., Bavinton, B., Jeffries, D., Bartlett, S., Calabretto, H., Narciso, L., Prestage, G., & Holt.

The Adelaide Gay Community Periodic Survey is a cross-sectional survey of gay and homosexually active men recruited at a range of gay community sites in Adelaide, and online throughout South Australia. The major aim of the survey is to provide data on sexual, drug use, and testing practices related to the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmissible infections (STIs) among gay men. The most recent survey, the twelfth in South Australia, was conducted in November and December 2018 to coincide with the Adelaide Feast Festival.

Key points

– The proportion of men who reported ever having been tested for HIV increased from 83% in 2011 to 87% in 2018.

– The percentage of non-HIV-positive men who reported testing for HIV in the 12 months prior to the survey remained stable (and was reported by 71% in 2018), although the percentage reporting three or more HIV tests in the previous year increased (from 11% in 2014 to 22% in 2018).

– The use of HIV treatment by HIV-positive men has remained stable over time (and was reported by 93% of HIV-positive men in 2018). The percentage of men on antiretroviral treatment who reported an undetectable viral load also remained stable (reported by 94% in 2018).

Mobile phone apps remained the most common way that men met male sex partners, reported by 44% in 2018.

– The proportion of men with regular male partners reporting condomless anal intercourse with those partners (CAIR) increased from 55% in 2011 to 65% in 2018.

– The proportion of men with casual male partners reporting condomless anal intercourse with those partners (CAIC) increased from 38% in 2011 to 51% in 2018.

– Most of the recent increase in CAIC appears to be attributable to the growing proportion of HIV-negative men using pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

STI testing among HIV-negative men has remained stable over time, with 74% reporting any STI test in the year prior to the 2018 survey. The proportion of HIV-positive men reporting any STI test in the previous year decreased from 91% in 2011 to 72% in 2018.

Use of PrEP increased between 2014 and 2018 from 1% to 16% of non-HIV-positive men.