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.

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.

 

 

Healthcare providers should discuss U=U with all their HIV-positive patients

aidsmap/nam, 18/03/2019

Healthcare providers should inform all patients with HIV they cannot transmit HIV to a sexual partner when their viral load is undetectable, argue the authors of  a strongly worded comment in The Lancet HIV.

The authors note that despite overwhelming scientific data supporting the undetectable = untransmittable (U=U) message, significant numbers of healthcare providers do not educate their patients about U=U when telling them their viral load is undetectable.

 

 

 

‘Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health’ Program: Country South Australia

SHINE SA, March 2019

With rising national rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and in particular chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, it’s important that SHINE SA support those at the frontline of diagnosis and prevention – general practitioners. SHINE SA has recently been funded by Country SA PHN to deliver a program to support rural and regional health workers.

The Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health Program aims to help build capacity and skills around sexual health through education, personalised support and information.

Education and training will be offered in regional areas of South Australia and will focus on addressing the current syphilis outbreak and the ongoing chlamydia epidemic.

RAINING AND EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES

Through this program SHINE SA will provide opportunities for information, resources, education and training. These opportunities can be both formal and informal depending on needs.

This will include:

  • evening education session/s (see below)
  • webinar and case presentations
  • personalised support including telephone advice
  • information for health practices located in the region
  • increasing access to formal certificate qualifications where relevant

SHINE SA is currently applying for RACGP QI/CPD points for the regional evening education sessions.

REGIONS

This program will reach the following regions:

  • Murray Mallee Region
  • Lower North
  • Mid North & Yorke Peninsula
  • Whyalla
  • Barossa

General practitioners, nurses and/or midwives, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Aboriginal Health Workers in these regions are encouraged to express interest in receiving training from SHINE SA.

COST

FREE! There is no cost for education and training for those eligible.

TO PARTICIPATE

To express interest in this program please fill out the form here:
Expressions of Interest – Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health Program

You can also enrol in the free education sessions:

Sexually Transmitted Infections – Strategies For General Practice
These sessions will give an update of STIs focusing on the current syphilis outbreak and the ongoing chlamydia epidemic.

For any further questions please contact SHINE SA’s Program Lead: Edwina Jachimowicz via email 

COURSE DATES

Murray Bridge – Sexually Transmitted Infections – Strategies for General Practice

Date: 10 April 2019
Time: 6:15pm registration, 6:45 dinner served, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Location:  Adelaide Road Motor Lodge, 212 Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge SA 5253
Status: Open

ENROL NOW

Berri – Sexually Transmitted Infections – Strategies for General Practice

Date: 02 May 2019
Time: 6:15pm registration, 6:45 dinner served, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Location: Berri Hotel,Riverview Drive, Berri SA 5343
Status: Open

Expressions of Interest – Building Workforce Capacity in Sexual Health Program: Country South Australia

Date: 15 June 2019
Status: Open

EXPRESS INTEREST NOW

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.”

A guide to My Health Record: for BBV & STI healthcare providers to support their patients

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

Healthcare providers can play a crucial role in helping patients make informed decisions about whether and indeed the extent, to engage with the My Health Record, particularly for those patients with BBVs and/or other potentially stigmatising conditions.

To support those conversations, ASHM has created A guide to My Health Record: for BBV & STI healthcare providers to support their patients. The guide outlines the key issues associated with My Health Record, and provides four key recommendations to clinicians around advising patients on how to engage with the system.

Though the opt-out period ends soon, clinicians still have an ongoing obligation to provide advice to patients around the benefits as well as the privacy and security control options available, to guide their decision-making around engaging with My Health Record.

With increased media attention on My Health Record in recent weeks, some specifics of the system may change. A guide to My Health Record is a living document and will be updated with any relevant changes as further details emerge.