Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of existing needle and syringe programmes in preventing hepatitis C transmission in PWID

Drug and Alcohol Findings (UK), 2019

What would happen to rates of infection with hepatitis C if we closed down all the needle exchanges? Research has established that needle/syringe programmes are a cost-effective way to reduce spread of HIV, but just two studies have considered the same issue in relation to hepatitis C.

In three UK municipalities, the answers were predicted to be more infections, lost low-cost opportunities to improve and save lives, and in two of the areas, greater health-related costs overall. Conclusion was that these services are among the best investments UK health services can make.

New evidence supports HIV screening in young adulthood

Science Daily, December 19, 2017

A new study suggests that the most beneficial age for a one-time screening HIV test of the general population would be age 25.

The report — led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital  working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health — will be published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and has been issued online.

People who use drugs require prioritisation not exclusion in efforts to eliminate Hepatitis C

6th International Symposium on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users,  6th Sept 2017

An international conference bringing together hepatitis C experts from around the world is today calling for strategies to prioritise people who use drugs, saying hepatitis C elimination is impossible without them.

“The number of people around the world dying from hepatitis C is increasing. We have the tools to reverse this trend, to eliminate this disease and save millions of lives. But it will not happen until people who use drugs become a focus of our efforts,” said Associate Professor Jason Grebely, President of the International Network of Hepatitis C in Substance Users (INHSU), the convenors of the conference.

 

ZERO: no linked HIV transmissions in PARTNER study after couples had sex 58,000 times without condoms

HIV Treatment Bulletin,  12 July 2016

The PARTNER study showing the impact of HIV treatment (ART) on reducing transmission will benefit millions of people globally.

The results set a new challenge about whether transmission is anything other than a theoretical risk when someone is taking effective ART. This reverses the common assumption that, by definition, some level of risk always exists when one partner is HIV positive.

The PARTNER study provides good evidence that undetectable viral load might be a threshold below which sexual HIV transmission does not occur. The importance of the PARTNER study is that it included both gay and straight couples, that it measured risk in people who were not using condoms and that it estimated absolute risks.

  • Read more here
  • Access JAMA paper (free full text) here

Denied Birth Control, Teens Still Have Sex — Unsafe Sex

Refinery 29, June 16, 2016 3:40 PM

Kenyan-born and Tanzania-based sexual health educator Maureen Oduor knows that soda doesn’t prevent pregnancy, but not all of the young women she counsels do. “In Kenya, adolescents believe that drinking a glass of Coca-Cola soda before and after sex can prevent a girl from getting pregnant,” she tells me. In Tanzania, meanwhile, “people believe that use of contraceptives by a woman who has never had a child causes a woman to be barren or give birth to an abnormal child” — and in both countries, “there is a belief that if a girl [does] not have sex as a very early teen, like 12 or 13 years, then the vaginal opening is likely to close or get sealed.”

In her work in Tanzania for SHDEPHA, an organization that fights discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS and replaces contraception misinformation with education and services, Oduor is a professional myth-buster. Her passion for sex ed is personal.

Read more here

Evidence Check Review for STI Interventions

Sax Institute for the Centre for Population Health, NSW Ministry of Health, October 2015

This Evidence Check Review reports on the effectiveness of interventions which aim to reduce the transmission of three Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs): chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis.
This rapid review was commissioned by the Centre for Population Health, New South Wales (NSW) Ministry of Health and the Sax Institute to inform the development of the NSW Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy 2016–2020.
The focus of this review is on the effectiveness of interventions aiming to reduce the transmission of Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs) in different settings. Consistent with the developing NSW STI strategy, this review focuses on interventions in relation to testing, treatment, partner notification and prevention of re-infection of three priority STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis), in five priority settings (primary health care; sexual health services; Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services; antenatal services; and services for young people) for five priority populations (gay and other men who have
sex with men (MSM); gay men living with HIV; young people aged 16–29 years; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people involved in sex work).
The review was also tasked with identifying evidence for the effectiveness of interventions in additional settings (including but not limited to drug and alcohol services, emergency departments, mental health services and correctional services).

Substantial evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of interventions is identified. There are wide variations in the level of resources which are required, with the more expensive interventions not always shown to be the most effective.

Download document (PDF) here