Landmark report tells stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with disability

 

Development and validation of PozQoL: a scale to assess quality of life of PLHIV

BMC Public Health, 2018 18:527, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5433-6

Abstract

Background

Advances in medical treatment for HIV are driving major changes in HIV policy and practice, including the encouragement of intake and adherence to HIV antiretroviral treatment (ART) by people living with HIV (PLHIV) for both personal and public health benefits. However, there is increasing recognition that achieving these goals will require a concurrent focus on the broader psychological and social wellbeing of PLHIV. Increasingly calls are being been made to incorporate a stronger focus on quality of life (QoL) of PLHIV into HIV prevention policy.

In order to achieve this goal, HIV community, support and healthcare services need a valid, short and practical way to evaluate QoL of PLHIV accessing their programs. Current QoL measures are either long, complex, restricted in their use, or expensive. To address these shortcomings, the PozQoL study aimed to develop, test and validate a short and freely available scale assessing QoL among PLHIV.

Methods

Drawing on a literature review, the prioritisation of domains and development of the initial pool of items was conducted in consultation with PLHIV community organisations in Australia. The items covered health concerns, psychological, social, and functional wellbeing. Testing involved a baseline and a follow-up survey of 465 adult Australians living with HIV. Participants were recruited through social media and various community organizations nationwide. The survey included the pilot PozQoL scale and other validated measures of health and wellbeing.

Results

Guided by an Exploratory Factor Analysis and conceptual considerations, a 13-item scale was developed. The PozQoL scale demonstrated high levels of fit in a Confirmatory Factor Analysis, very good internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and concurrent validity with other measures that approximated different aspects of QoL.

Conclusion

The PozQoL scale has been tested in a diverse sample of adult PLHIV living in Australia, demonstrating very good reliability and validity. The insights from PLHIV and other stakeholders supported the balancing of statistical rigour and conceptual accuracy. The scale is now ready to be implemented and field-tested across a range of community, support and healthcare programs for PLHIV. This will make a significant contribution to the evaluation and enhancement of programs for PLHIV.

Young Australians’ use of pornography and associations with sexual risk behaviours

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2017, 41: 438–443. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12678

Abstract

Objectives: Amid public health concern that rising pornography use may have a negative impact on young people’s health and wellbeing, we report prevalence of pornography viewing and explore factors associated with viewing frequency and age at first viewing.

Methods: Cross-sectional online survey in a convenience sample of Victorians aged 15 to 29 years recruited via social media.

Results: Ever viewing pornography was reported by 815 of 941 (87%) participants. The median age at first pornography viewing was 13 years for men and 16 years for women. More frequent pornography viewing was associated with male gender, younger age, higher education, non-heterosexual identity, ever having anal intercourse and recent mental health problems. Younger age at first pornography viewing was associated with male gender, younger current age, higher education, non-heterosexual identity, younger age at first sexual contact and recent mental health problems.

Conclusions: Pornography use is common and associated with some health and behavioural outcomes. Longitudinal research is needed to determine the causal impact of pornography on these factors.

Implications for public health: Viewing pornography is common and frequent among young people from a young age and this needs to be considered in sexuality education.

AMA throws its weight behind same-sex marriage, declares it a health issue

The Age

The nation’s most powerful doctors’ group has thrown its weight behind same-sex marriage for the first time, declaring it a public health issue and calling on politicians to end the divisive debate.

In an unprecedented move, the president of the typically conservative group, Dr Michael Gannon, has written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten urging bipartisanship.

  • Read more of article here
  • Read AMA press release here
  • Download position paper here 

 

 

HIV Futures 8: Women Living with HIV in Australia

Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, 2017

In 2015, there were just under 3,000 women living with (diagnosed) HIV in Australia, representing around 10% of the overall number of Australians currently living with HIV. The experience of living with HIV can be very different for women than it is for men. 

HIV Futures 8 is a survey about the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in AustraliaThe study is designed to inform the Australian National HIV Strategy and guide community and clinical service provision for PLHIV. Findings from HIV Futures 8 are presented as a series of short reports.

The 74 women who completed the survey were aged between 19 and 80 years, with a median of 49 years. HIV Futures 8 is a broad survey covering issues such as financial security, housing status, antiretroviral treatment use, general health issues, stigma and discrimination, clinical and support service use, aging, drug and alcohol use, sexual health, relationships, and social connectedness.

  • Download report (PDF)  here 

WHO launches new treatment guidelines for chlamydia, gonorrhoea & syphilis

World Health Organisation, 30 August 2016

STIs present a major burden of disease and negatively affect people’s well-being across the globe. Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are three STIs which are all caused by bacteria and which can potentially be cured by antibiotics. Unfortunately, these STIs often go undiagnosed and due to antibiotic resistance, they are also becoming increasingly difficult to treat.

WHO has today launched new treatment guidelines to help address this issue. Based on the latest available evidence, the guidelines share new recommendations on the most effective treatments for these curable sexually transmitted infections.