Disparities in characteristics in accessing public Australian sexual health services between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible MSM

Disparities in characteristics in accessing public Australian sexual health services between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible men who have sex with men

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health

Anysha M. Walia, Christopher K. Fairley, Catriona S. Bradshaw, Marcus Y. Chen, Eric P.F. Chow

First published: 31 August 2020
https://doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.13029
Abstract:

Objectives: Accessible health services are a key element of effective human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infection (STI) control. This study aimed to examine whether there were any differences in accessing sexual health services between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible men who have sex with men (MSM) in Melbourne, Australia.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, cross‐sectional study of MSM attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre between 2016 and 2019. Demographic characteristics, sexual practices, HIV testing practices and STI diagnoses were compared between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible MSM.

Results: We included 5,085 Medicare‐eligible and 2,786 Medicare‐ineligible MSM. Condomless anal sex in the past 12 months was more common in Medicare‐eligible compared to Medicare‐ineligible MSM (74.4% vs. 64.9%; p<0.001) although the number of partners did not differ between groups. There was no difference in prior HIV testing practices between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible MSM (76.1% vs. 77.7%; p=0.122). Medicare‐ineligible MSM were more likely to have anorectal chlamydia compared to Medicare‐eligible MSM (10.6% vs. 8.5%; p=0.004).

Conclusions: Medicare‐ineligible MSM have less condomless sex but a higher rate of anorectal chlamydia, suggesting they might have limited access to STI testing or may be less willing to disclose high‐risk behaviour.

Implications for public health: Scaling up access to HIV and STI testings for Medicare‐ineligible MSM is essential.

How sexual assault survivors can feel in control during cervical screenings

ABC Life By Kellie Scott / 12th August 2020
Kate* avoids cervical screenings.The 34-year-old from Sydney is a survivor of sexual assault and finds the physical examination re-traumatising.

Kate’s experience is not unique.

One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. And research shows those who have experienced sexual abuse, either as adults or children, are less likely to attend regular cervical screening.

New Guides: Family Violence Response for Women with Disabilities

Women with Disabilities Victoria, July 2020

WDV’s Workforce Development Team  have produced two new resources. These resources outline the best practice response to violence against women with disabilities, including supporting a woman who discloses experiencing violence, and lists a number of referral services.

(Please note some of the referrals are specific to Victoria. 1800RESPECT provide free and confidential counselling and referal to local services.)

Download resources: 

 

Factsheet: Your rights and responsibilities when living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C

Hepatitis Australia,  23 April 2020

This brief factsheet provides an overview of peoples’ rights and responsibilities when living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

The SAMESH Hypothetical: Loose Talk in Public Places (free event)

SAMESH, 29/10/2019

The SAMESH Hypothetical brings together comedians, politicians, community members and other public figures for a night of wild and truly hypothetical musings on a range of topics that while completely outlandish are not too far from what we see in daily life.                                                

Our panellists will weave their way through a series of knotty issues,
led by our talented moderator Dean Arcuri.

Don’t miss this one night show, tickets are FREE but bookings essential!

WHERE

Elder Hall, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide

WHEN

Wed 20th Nov, 7:00pm

TICKETS

Free (bookings essential)

DURATION

1.5 hours

ACCESS

Wheelchair accessible

AGES

All ages

 

HIV and viral hepatitis disclosure [in South Australia] – factsheet

SA Health, updated 2019

Deciding to disclose your HIV or viral hepatitis (hepatitis B or hepatitis C) status is a personal choice. There are few situations where you are legally required to disclose your HIV or viral hepatitis status, however, there may be times when it’s in your best interests to disclose your status even if you are not legally required to do so.