Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey shows mixed outcomes

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 11/12/2019

A new report shows mixed health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a reduction in smoking and improvements in how people feel about their health, but an increased proportion of people with chronic conditions causing significant health problems.

The 2018-19 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) examines long-term health conditions, risk factors, and social and emotional well-being indicators. The survey included Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all states and territories and included people in both non-remote and remote areas.

Contents include:

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 

In contrast to Australia’s success with hepatitis C, our response to hepatitis B is lagging

The Conversation, October 15th, 2019

Around one-third of Australians living with hepatitis C have been cured in the last four years. Australia’s response to hepatitis C is seen as a leading example around the world, and the elimination of the disease as a major public health threat is looking like an increasingly achievable goal.

But the situation is much less promising for Australians living with hepatitis B, which is now the most common blood-borne viral infection in Australia. It affects more people than hepatitis C and HIV combined.

Cultural and linguistic diversity of people living with chronic hepatitis B

Cultural and linguistic diversity of people living with chronic hepatitis B in 2011–2016: changing migration, shifting epidemiology
Aust NZ J Public Health. 2018; 42:441-3; doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12826
Abstract
Objective: To estimate the cultural and linguistic diversity in Australians currently living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), the majority of whom were born overseas, and to identify trends in this diversity over time.
Methods: Estimates were generated by combining Australian census country of birth
information with seroprevalence data generated from antenatal serology linked with
surveillance notifications. The number of people living with CHB was assessed according to country of birth using the 2011 and 2016 censuses.
Results: The total number of Australian residents living with CHB increased by 20% between 2011 and 2016, substantially outpacing population growth. The most common country of birth continued to be China, with the number of Chinese-born Australians living with CHB increasing by 60% in the 5-year period. Decreased numbers were observed for people born in European countries.
Conclusions: The epidemiology of chronic hepatitis B in Australia has shifted over time due to changing migration patterns, with increases in many countries in the Asia-Pacific, African and Middle Eastern regions. 
Implications for public health: Interventions to improve the health of people living with CHB are imperative, and these up-to-date estimates identify priority groups and communities, which are constantly changing.

New online learning from ASHM tackles stigma and discrimination in healthcare

The Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM), 1 st March 2019

To mark Zero Discrimination Day, today ASHM has launched Removing Barriers, a new online learning tool for addressing stigma and discrimination in healthcare settings against people affected by HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C. 

The Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health to address systemic barriers and stigma and discrimination to increase access to the health system by people at risk of or with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV.

“Removing Barriers makes it everybody’s business to change what we say, change what we do and work together in removing the unacceptable barriers of stigma and discrimination across the health system.”

It’s hard to think about, but frail older women in nursing homes get sexually abused too

The Conversation, November 22, 2018 6.02am AEDT

We don’t often think of older women being victims of sexual assault, but such assaults occur in many settings and circumstances, including in nursing homes. Our research, published this week in the journal Legal Medicine, analysed 28 forensic medical examinations of female nursing home residents who had allegedly been victims of sexual assault in Victoria over a 15-year period.

The majority of the alleged victims had some form of cognitive or physical impairment. All 14 perpetrators who were reported were male, half of whom were staff and half other residents.