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.

‘Sussing that doctor out’: Experiences of people affected by hepatitis C regarding private GPs in SA

‘Sussing that doctor out.’ Experiences and perspectives of people affected by hepatitis C regarding engagement with private general practitioners in South Australia: a qualitative study

BMC Fam Pract. 2017 Nov 29;18(1):97. doi: 10.1186/s12875-017-0669-2.

Abstract

Background: Australians with chronic hepatitis C (HCV) can access affordable Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) treatments with high cure rates (>90%), via General Practitioners (GPs). Benefits from this treatment will be maximised if people with HCV readily disclose and engage with private GPs regarding HCV-related issues. Investigating the perceptions and experiences of people affected by HCV with GPs can allow for this pathway to care for HCV to be improved.

Methods: In 2013–2014, 22 purposively sampled participants from South Australia (SA) were interviewed. They a) had contracted or were at risk of hepatitis C (n = 10), b) were key workers who had clients affected by HCV (n = 6), and c) met both a) and b) criteria (n = 6). The semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed.

Results: People affected by HCV viewed GPs as a source of general healthcare but, due to negative experiences and perceptions, many developed a strategy of “sussing” out doctors before engaging with and disclosing to a GP regarding HCV-related issues. Participants were doubtful about the benefits of engagement and disclosure, and did not assume that they would be provided best-practice care in a non-discriminatory, non-judgemental way. They perceived risks to confidentiality and risks of changes to the care they received from GPs upon disclosure.

Conclusion: GPs may need to act in ways that counteract the perceived risks and persuade people affected by HCV of the benefits of seeking HCV-related care.

We are ignoring the sex lives of women in rural Australia and they are paying the price

SMH, 11 March 2018 — 2:59 pm

Every day rural women, particularly adolescent girls, face considerable barriers to seeking family planning services like contraception and safe abortions, STD treatment, and gynaecology appointments.

The consequences of inaccessibility are evident in the numbers: teenage pregnancy is declining in Australia overall, but is still disproportionately high in regional towns.

New stigma indicators reports for Zero Discrimination Day

Centre for Social Research in Health, 1 Mar 2018

In Australia, there are currently five national strategies addressing HIV, viral hepatitis, and STIs. 

A clear objective exists within each of the five strategies to “eliminate the negative impact of stigma, discrimination, and legal and human rights issues on people’s health”. However, until recently, there was no associated indicator to measure stigma and monitor the progress of these objectives.

The following reports outline the approach taken by CSRH to develop a stigma indicator and results from the first round of data collection in surveys of priority populations for these national strategies.

There are three reports: People with HIV and men who have sex with men, people with hepatitis C and people who inject, and health workers. The health workers report covers their attitudes to sexual orientation, injecting, sex work, HIV or hepatitis status in their patients.

Healthcare workers living with HIV have different motivations for disclosing/concealing their status

nam/aidsmap, 10 November 2017

Nurses and other healthcare workers who are living with HIV have mixed reactions when they mention their HIV status to colleagues, according to a small Dutch study reported in the November/December issue of the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. 

Some healthcare workers disclosed because they expected a positive reaction or they felt the need to share a secret. Others concealed their HIV status because they feared a negative reaction or did not believe that disclosure was relevant or necessary.

A Fate Worse than Death? Being Transgender in Long-term Care

Psychology Benefits Society blog ( American Psychological Association), Oct 26, 2017

“I would kill myself.” This is what a 70 year-old transgender woman told me recently when I asked what she would do if she needed long-term care. While this sounds dramatic, it is a common sentiment among older transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) adults (Witten, 2014).

Many TGNC older adults do not have family caregivers available to meet their needs for assistance in later life, having been rejected and ostracized by their families of origin according to a study by Grant and colleagues (2011), and long-term care services may be their only option.

Read more of Being Transgender in Long-term Care