Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status, 2017

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, Last updated: 15 June 2018

The Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status  aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the most recent indicators of the health and current health status of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The initial sections of the Overview provide information about the context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, population, and various measures of population health status. The remaining sections are about selected health conditions and risk and protective factors that contribute to the overall health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These sections comprise an introduction and evidence of the extent of the condition or risk/protective factor.

The annual Overview is a resource relevant for workers, students and others who need to access up-to-date information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Accompanying the Overview is a set of PowerPoint slides designed to help lecturers and others provide up-to-date information.

‘People are scared’: the fight against a deadly virus no one has heard of

Guardian Australia, Tue 24 Apr 2018 

An Aboriginal woman – we’ll call her B – is sitting in a dry creek bed outside her community and telling the world “this is a very bad disease. But we have to talk in a way not to shame people. Not telling them straight out. Telling them gently and quietly.”

B is talking about a sickness that has killed her family member and is a potential tragedy facing Aboriginal communities in central Australia, who have the world’s highest rates of a fatal, human immune virus for which there is no current cure, no treatment and no coordinated public health response.

Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is transmitted through sexual contact, blood transfusion and from mother to child by breastfeeding. It can cause a rapidly fatal form of leukaemia. Some people die within weeks of diagnosis. HTLV-1 also causes inflammation of the spinal cord leading to paralysis, severe lung disease known as bronchiectasis and other inflammatory disease.

In five communities around Alice Springs, more than 45% of adults tested have the virus, a rate thousands of times higher than for non-Indigenous Australians.

Increased screening for syphilis boosts detection of early latent infections among Australian gay men

nam/aidsmap,  Published: 03 May 2017

Increased syphilis testing among gay men increased detection of early latent infections and was accompanied by a fall in the proportion of cases involving secondary syphilis, investigators report in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

  • Read more here 
  • Access article abstract here (for full text, see your librarian)