A community perspective: On Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancer among women and, trans and gender diverse people

Positive Life NSW & Femfatales, April 2019

Authors: Liz Sutherland, Lance Feeney, Katya Samodurov

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus which can be passed through skin to skin contact during sexual activity. Evidence to date shows that women living with HIV are 3 to 6 times more likely to develop cervical cancer than the general female population. They are also at greater risk of developing anal, vaginal, oropharyngeal and vulvar cancers.

There are other groups who may have a higher but preventable risk because they are often left out of the conversation about HPV and related cancers. Trans men are less likely to be up-todate with Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer. Furthermore, several studies have highlighted that trans and gender diverse people, and lesbian and bisexual cis-gendered women are often disregarded as not being at risk.

Positive Life and Femfatales developed a cross-sectional study to:

• Assess awareness and knowledge of HPV infection and risk for 4 HPV-related cancers (cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal) among women and, trans and gender diverse people in Australia;

• Assess the knowledge gaps to inform the development and implementation of population-specific educational resources to increase community and healthcare professional awareness of HPV and related cancers;

• Assist with the prevention of morbidity and mortality by increasing screening, early detection and treatment of HPV-related cancers, and;

• Assess rates of HPV vaccination in women and, trans and gender diverse people

KEY FINDINGS:

1. The results from this survey highlighted a lack of awareness of risk, prevention,
symptoms, and early detection of HPV-related vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancers.

2. Approximately 28% of HIV-positive respondents were unaware that a vaccination
against HPV exists and 71% of HIV-positive respondents had not been vaccinated
against HPV.

3. Over half (60%) of HIV-positive respondents believe their risk of anal cancer was either‘about the same’, ‘lower’, or ‘much lower’ than the general female population’s risk.

4. While all HIV-positive respondents had screened for cervical cancer at some point in
their lives, 91.7% had never had an anal examination for anal cancer.

5. Among HIV-positive and HIV-negative but immunocompromised respondents who had undergone staging or treatment for either cervical, vaginal, or vulvar cancer, none had ever screened for anal cancer.

6. Of the HIV-positive respondents who do not receive screening reminder notifications, none were aware of the new 3 yearly National Cervical Screening Guidelines and changes.

7. Qualitative responses indicated that respondents generally preferred having clinician-initiated conversations with female doctors or nurses who were non-judgemental, non-dismissive, clear, and made them feel comfortable.

8. In an open-ended short-answer question, more than 25% of qualitative respondents felt that more awareness and normalising talking about HPV in the public realm would help increase their chance of detecting HPV-related cancer early.

A comparative, retrospective analysis of HIV testing among gay, bisexual and other MSM in Melbourne

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
First published: 29 May 2019
https://doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.12903

Abstract

Objective: PRONTO!, a peer‐led rapid HIV‐testing service in Melbourne, Australia, opened to improve HIV testing among gay and bisexual men (GBM). We compared client characteristics and return testing among GBM testing at PRONTO! with GBM testing at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC).

Methods: All GBM attending PRONTO! and MSHC for HIV testing between August 2013 and April 2016 were included. We describe the number of tests, percentage of clients who returned during follow‐up, the mean number of tests and median time between tests at the two services.

Results: At PRONTO!, 33% of 3,102 GBM and at MSHC 50% of 9,836 GBM returned for a further HIV test at least once. The mean number of tests per client was 1.7 and 2.5 at PRONTO! and MSHC (p<0.01), respectively. A majority of clients at both services reported behaviours that would recommend up to quarterly testing, however, the median time between tests was 20.0 and 17.0 weeks at PRONTO! and MSHC (p<0.01), respectively.

Conclusions: A greater proportion of clients returned and returned frequently at MSHC compared to PRONTO!, however, at both services HIV testing frequency was suboptimal.

Implications for public health: Novel HIV testing services should provide convenient and comprehensive sexual health services.

Updated blood borne virus guidelines for health professionals in SA

SA Health, 11 April 2019

The ‘Australian National Guidelines for the Management of Healthcare Workers Living with Blood Borne Viruses and Healthcare Workers who Perform Exposure Prone Procedures at Risk of Exposure to Blood Borne Viruses’ have been updated. They can be viewed on the Commonwealth Department of Health website.

The guidelines are in two parts:

Part A provides information and recommendations for all healthcare workers, in particular:

  • healthcare workers who perform exposure prone procedures
  • healthcare workers living with a blood borne virus, and
  • doctors treating healthcare workers with a blood borne virus.

Part B provides information and recommendations for public health authorities including, but not limited to, hospitals and jurisdictional health departments, when managing or investigating a situation where a healthcare worker with a blood borne virus was not compliant with these guidelines and/or may have placed a patient(s) at risk of infection.

 

 

Update on Sexually Transmitted Infections: forum recording now available

SHINE SA, 17/1/2019

SHINE SA is pleased to present the following Clinical Education Forum on the topic of sexually transmitted infections. This recording is available free of charge, and access is limited to three months only.

This forum covers current trends in sexually transmitted infections and includes recent updates to the Australian STI Management Guidelines for Use in Primary Care.

Presenter: Dr Tonia Mezzini, Sexual Health Physician.

Recording length: 1 hour 25 minutes.

CPD points are awarded on completion of this forum.

To watch the recording click here and sign in – or set up a new account at https://shinesa.trainingvc.com.au/Under ‘Course Categories’ click Clinical Education to find the course STI Update, and then click Enrol Me.

 

World Medical Association updates advice on medically indicated termination of pregnancy

Australian Medical Association, October 21, 2018

Revised advice to physicians on medically indicated termination of pregnancy has been issued by the World Medical Association.

At its recent annual General Assembly in Reykjavik, the WMA reiterated that where the law allows medically indicated termination of pregnancy to be performed, the procedure should be carried out by a competent physician.

However, it agreed that in extreme cases it could be performed by another qualified health care worker. An extreme case would be a situation where only an abortion would save the life of the mother and no physician was available, as might occur in many parts of the world. This amends previous WMA advice from 2006 that only physicians should undertake such procedures.

Translation and implementation of the Australian-led PCOS guideline

Translation and implementation of the Australian-led PCOS guideline: clinical summary and translation resources from the International Evidence-based Guideline for the Assessment and Management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Med J Aust 2018; 209 (7 Suppl): S3-S8. || doi: 10.5694/mja18.00656
Published online: 2018-10-01

Abstract

Introduction: We have developed the first international evidence-based guideline for the diagnosis and management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), with an integrated translation program incorporating resources for health professionals and consumers. The development process involved an extensive Australian-led international and multidisciplinary collaboration of health professionals and consumers over 2 years. The guideline is approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council and aims to support both health professionals and women with PCOS in improving care, health outcomes and quality of life. A robust evaluation process will diagnoenable practice benchmarking and feedback to further inform evidence-based practice. We propose that this methodology could be used in developing and implementing guidelines for other women’s health conditions and beyond.

Main recommendations: The recommendations cover the following broad areas: diagnosis, screening and risk assessment depending on life stage; emotional wellbeing; healthy lifestyle; pharmacological treatment for non-fertility indications; and assessment and treatment of infertility.

Changes in management as a result of this guideline: •Diagnosis:▪when the combination of hyperandrogenism and ovulatory dysfunction is present, ultrasound examination of the ovaries is not necessary for diagnosis of PCOS in adult women;▪requires the combination of hyperandrogenism and ovulatory dysfunction in young women within 8 years of menarche, with ultrasound examination of the ovaries not recommended, owing to the overlap with normal ovarian physiology; and▪adolescents with some clinical features of PCOS, but without a clear diagnosis, should be regarded as “at risk” and receive follow-up assessment.•Screening for metabolic complications has been refined and incorporates both PCOS status and additional metabolic risk factors.•Treatment of infertility: letrozole is now first line treatment for infertility as it improves live birth rates while reducing multiple metapregnancies compared with clomiphene citrate.