Australia will never be HIV-free if access to prevention requires a medicare card

The Conversation, January 23, 2019 12.21pm AEDT

by Nicholas Medland, Sexual health physician and senior researcher, UNSW

Australia aims to “virtually eliminate” HIV transmission by 2022, according to the health minister’s new national HIV strategy. This ambitious goal has been made possible by biomedical HIV prevention, a new and highly effective way of preventing HIV using medications.

But new inequalities are emerging between those who can and can’t access these medications because of their Medicare eligibility. These inequalities may undermine the success of HIV elimination in Australia and threaten Australia’s international reputation as a safe place to study, work and live.

Read more of Australia will never be HIV-free if access to prevention requires a medicare card

 

Transgender women taking PrEP have lower levels of PrEP drugs than cisgender men

aidsmap/nam, November 9th 2018

A study presented at October’s HIV Research for Prevention conference (HIVR4P) in Madrid shows that transgender women who are taking feminising hormones and also taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) have levels of the PrEP drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine in their blood that are about 25% lower than those in cisgender men, and levels in rectal tissue cells about 40% lower. Tenofovir levels in rectal tissue were 44% lower.

However, the study also confirmed that the interaction between hormones and PrEP did not appear to go the other way; blood levels of estradiol, the one hormone all of the transgender women took in one form or another, do not appear to be affected by PrEP.

 

Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV: An overview for Health Professionals

SHINE SA, October 2018

Access to PEP after an eligible exposure to HIV is a medical emergency. Your response to patients presenting for PEP can support them in preventing a life-long infection with HIV.

A brief, online training module has been created to support health professionals to:

• Increase your understanding of PEP as an emergency presentation and vital HIV prevention measure
• Assist you in providing patients with optimal care and support when seeking PEP in the emergency setting

This course is designed for Medical Officers and Registered Nurses in hospital emergency departments and targeted primary care clinical and rural sites that hold PEP starter packs in South Australia.

  • To register for the free PEP training module, please email us here with your name, position and workplace.

SA Health has contributed funds towards this program.

HIV PrEP update & HIV prescriber update in Adelaide

ASHM, October 2018

HIV PrEP Update for GPs and Practice Nurses

This training will provide GPs, Nurses, and Health Professionals working in primary care an update on strategies available for the prevention of HIV transmission, focusing on prevention particularly pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

– Date Tuesday, 23 October 2018
– Venue Mercure Grosvenor, 125 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
– Time 6:15pm – 9:30 pm (Registration from 6:15pm, webinar broadcasts from 6:45pm)

At the end of this update, participants will be able to;
– Describe HIV epidemiology in Australia and the different HIV prevention
strategies
– Explain the role of HIV treatment and management
–  Provide patient education on the effectiveness and appropriate use of
PrEP/PEP
– Identify the prescribing pathways of PrEP within your local jurisdiction

This evening educational session will be presented by Dr Charlotte Bell, Sexual
Health Physician – Royal Adelaide Hospital.

This course is also available as a webinar, please contact Emma Williams here
for webinar registration

Register for this course at:
http://www.ashm.org.au/training/
Registrations close: Friday, 19 October 2018

Download flyer here: HIV PrEP Update_23Oct2018


HIV s100 Prescriber Dinner Update: 2018 IAS Conference Report Back and
Complex HIV Case Discussion

ASHM would like to invite HIV s100 Prescribers and medical practitioners in South Australia to attend this dinner training.

– Date Wednesday, 24 October 2018
– Venue Mercure Grosvenor, 125 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
– Time 6:15pm – 9:30 pm (Registration starts 6:15pm, Webinar from 6:50pm)
– Cost FREE, Dinner and refreshments will be provided on site

This dinner workshop will bring attendees an overview of the content showcased at the
2018 International AIDS Conference held in Amsterdam, as well as a number of complex HIV cases to discuss. The first session is a conference report back
session. Professor Mark Boyd will provide an update on the latest studies, important
developments and best research methods in the ongoing battle against HIV, AIDS and
related infectious diseases from the IAS Conference 2018.

The second session will be an interactive panel discussion, focussing on the
management of complex HIV cases. Panellists include Professor Mark Boyd, Dr Russell Waddell (Consultant Sexual Health Physician and Clinical Director STD Services, Royal Adelaide Hospital) and Dr Andrew Beckwith (Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Director of Training, HIV/Hep C Liaison Psychiatrist, CALHN Mental Health). The session will be hosted by Dr Samuel Elliott (Principal General Practitioner, Riverside Family Medical Practice).

This course is also available as a webinar, please contact Emma Williams here
for webinar registration

Register for this course at:
http://www.ashm.org.au/training/
Registrations close: Friday, 19 October 2018

Download flyer here: HIV Prescriber Update_24Oct2018

Understanding U=U for women living with HIV

ICASO, September 2018

Since its announcement, Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U) has
become a call to action to assert that when someone living with HIV has an
undetectable viral load they cannot transmit HIV. Additionally, the U=U message
is evolving to challenge notions of HIV infectivity, vulnerability and stigma.

The science behind the U=U message provides the evidence that we can reduce the anxiety related to the sexual transmission of the HIV virus with confidence.

To contribute to getting this message out, ICASO produced a Community Brief on U=U. This community brief explains why it is so important to understand what ‘U=U’ means for women. The brief documents the experiences and needs of individual women living with HIV from all over the world. Important questions still remain that need to be answered to make the U=U message relevant, understandable and more meaningful to women in their diversity.

  • Download the community brief in English here

HIV diagnoses hit seven year low: Australia’s annual HIV figures released

Kirby Institute, UNSW, Monday, 24 September 2018

Australia has recorded its lowest level of HIV diagnoses in seven years, according to a new report from the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney.

The report, released at the Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference in Sydney, found that there were 963 new HIV diagnoses in 2017, the lowest number since 2010.

Researchers are attributing the promising results to more people getting tested for HIV, more people living with HIV starting treatment which reduces the risk of HIV transmission to effectively zero, and an increased use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP, an HIV prevention pill).

However, it is not all good news. According to the report, a quarter of new HIV diagnoses in 2017 were among heterosexuals, with a 10% increase in diagnoses over the past five years.

Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, HIV diagnoses have been increasing over the past five years, with rates almost two times higher than the Australian-born non-Indigenous population in 2017.