New COVID Taskforce website from ASHM

ASHM, UPDATED ON: 14 April 2020

ASHM’s Taskforce on BBVs, Sexual Health and COVID-19 was established on 20 March 2020. It provides a timely opportunity for the BBV and sexual health sectors to discuss the scientific, clinical, BBV and sexual health service delivery and social implications of COVID-19, and provides consistent and evidence-based messaging to the health workforce, sector partners and community.

The website contains interim recommendations on:

  • adults living with HIV
  • adults living with chronic hepatitis B.
  • adults living with hepatitis C, or the complications of previous hepatitis C infection
  • people who are incarcerated in criminal justice settings during the COVID-19 pandemic including those who are living with HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

 

Nurse Practitioner (s100) Prescribing Change

Hepatitis Australia, 3 April 2020

Hepatitis Australia warmly welcomes recent changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) allowing authorised Nurse Practitioners to prescribe hepatitis B and hepatitis C medicines under the Highly Specialised Drugs (s100) Program.

Both hepatitis B and hepatitis C are under-treated and without improvement in a range of areas Australia risks falling short of agreed national and global viral hepatitis elimination goals. Expanded access to timely treatment and care is a critical component of the national response.

This important development acknowledges the clinical expertise of Nurse Practitioners and the therapeutic relationships they develop and maintain with highly stigmatised and often vulnerable populations.

Under previous arrangements, authorised Nurse Practitioners were able to prescribe treatments for hepatitis B and hepatitis C under the PBS General Schedule (s85). Where Nurse Practitioners were available in primary care services, this arrangement enhanced access to antiviral therapies in community settings.

From 1 April 2020, authorised Nurse Practitioners are also able to prescribe hepatitis B and hepatitis C treatments under the Highly Specialised Drugs (s100) Program. This matters because some people are not able to access primary care settings. The change therefore improves the availability of treatment for vulnerable populations such as people living in remote and regional areas, people experiencing homelessness, and people in custodial settings.

Hepatitis Australia congratulates the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee for recommending this important change, and we thank our colleagues at ASHM (Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine) for their leadership in this matter.

Community members in need of more information about hepatitis B and hepatitis C may wish to contact 1800 437 222 (1800 HEP ABC). This National Hepatitis Infoline directs callers to the community-based hepatitis organisation in the relevant state or territory.

ASHM’s “Find a Prescriber” function helps community members find a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner who has attended ASHM’s hepatitis training. People can also speak to their GP about treatment.

https://ashm.org.au/news/pbac-endorse-np-prescribing-for-hepatitis-b-hepatitis-c-and-hiv-medicines/

and

http://www.pbs.gov.au/info/news/2020/04/authorised-nurse-practitioners-now-eligible-to-prescribe

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The above information was found here 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), HIV & hepatitis C: What you need to know

CATIE (Canada), 17 March 2020

  • An HIV-positive person on effective treatment is not expected to be at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19
  • A person with untreated HIV or a low CD4+ cell count may be at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19
  • People with HIV or hepatitis C are more likely to have other conditions that carry a greater risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19

 

 

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.

HIV & the Law: updated content from ASHM

Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine, 2019

The NEW Guide to Australian HIV Laws and Policies for Healthcare Professionals includes two new sections on Mandatory Testing for HIV and My Health Record.

This resource aims to provide health care workers with information on legal and ethical responsibilities under various laws and regulations related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It does not contain legal advice. Those seeking advice on individual cases should contact their health department, solicitor or their medical defence organisation as appropriate.

In the interests of brevity, laws have been summarised and re-written specifically as they relate to HIV. In many instances key legislation is more broadly targeted at a range of infectious diseases (with definitions varying by state).

All efforts have been made to ensure the content is current at time of publication.

STI/BBV testing tool for asymptomatic people

NSW STI Programs Unit, ASHM & Qld. Govt.,  2019

This resource has charts and information about how routine STI/BBV testing can be offered, who to, and how to follow up.

Developed by NSW STI Programs Unit, NSW Australia, and reproduced with permission by the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, ASHM and Communicable Diseases Branch.