Updated blood borne virus guidelines for health professionals in SA

SA Health, 11 April 2019

The ‘Australian National Guidelines for the Management of Healthcare Workers Living with Blood Borne Viruses and Healthcare Workers who Perform Exposure Prone Procedures at Risk of Exposure to Blood Borne Viruses’ have been updated. They can be viewed on the Commonwealth Department of Health website.

The guidelines are in two parts:

Part A provides information and recommendations for all healthcare workers, in particular:

  • healthcare workers who perform exposure prone procedures
  • healthcare workers living with a blood borne virus, and
  • doctors treating healthcare workers with a blood borne virus.

Part B provides information and recommendations for public health authorities including, but not limited to, hospitals and jurisdictional health departments, when managing or investigating a situation where a healthcare worker with a blood borne virus was not compliant with these guidelines and/or may have placed a patient(s) at risk of infection.

 

 

Liver cancer death rate rising: study

SBS News, 9/4/19

The rate of liver cancer deaths and diagnoses has increased substantially in the past three decades, yet researchers say little has been done to help Australians most at risk.

While it is considered a relatively rare type of cancer – nearly 2000 people were diagnosed in 2014 – the high mortality rate and increasing incidence of diagnosis has been concerning, researcher Barbara de Graaff says.

Rates were highest in the Northern Territory, mostly due to a higher prevalence of hepatitis B and C.

Cultural and linguistic diversity of people living with chronic hepatitis B

Cultural and linguistic diversity of people living with chronic hepatitis B in 2011–2016: changing migration, shifting epidemiology
Aust NZ J Public Health. 2018; 42:441-3; doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12826
Abstract
Objective: To estimate the cultural and linguistic diversity in Australians currently living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), the majority of whom were born overseas, and to identify trends in this diversity over time.
Methods: Estimates were generated by combining Australian census country of birth
information with seroprevalence data generated from antenatal serology linked with
surveillance notifications. The number of people living with CHB was assessed according to country of birth using the 2011 and 2016 censuses.
Results: The total number of Australian residents living with CHB increased by 20% between 2011 and 2016, substantially outpacing population growth. The most common country of birth continued to be China, with the number of Chinese-born Australians living with CHB increasing by 60% in the 5-year period. Decreased numbers were observed for people born in European countries.
Conclusions: The epidemiology of chronic hepatitis B in Australia has shifted over time due to changing migration patterns, with increases in many countries in the Asia-Pacific, African and Middle Eastern regions. 
Implications for public health: Interventions to improve the health of people living with CHB are imperative, and these up-to-date estimates identify priority groups and communities, which are constantly changing.

New online learning from ASHM tackles stigma and discrimination in healthcare

The Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM), 1 st March 2019

To mark Zero Discrimination Day, today ASHM has launched Removing Barriers, a new online learning tool for addressing stigma and discrimination in healthcare settings against people affected by HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C. 

The Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health to address systemic barriers and stigma and discrimination to increase access to the health system by people at risk of or with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV.

“Removing Barriers makes it everybody’s business to change what we say, change what we do and work together in removing the unacceptable barriers of stigma and discrimination across the health system.”

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.

Surveillance of sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne viruses in South Australia, 2017

Communicable Disease Control Branch, SA Health, 2018

In 2017, there were 8,181 new notifications of STIs and BBVs in South Australia. This figure represents a 7% increase in the number of new notifications compared to notifications received in 2016, and a 14% increase compared to the five year average (2012-2016).

In 2017, there were 5,910 notifications of genital chlamydia making this the most commonly notified STI in South Australia.  The notification rate of chlamydia in 2017 was 343 per 100,000 population, and has been stable over the past five years.

There were no notifications of donovanosis in 2017.

There were 1,271 notifications of gonorrhoea in 2017. The notification rate of gonorrhoea increased from 45 per 100,000 population in 2014 to 74 per 100,000 population in 2017.

There were 158 notifications of infectious syphilis in 2017, the highest number of annual notifications in the past 10 years.

There were 60 new diagnoses of HIV infection in 2017. The notification rate of newly diagnosed HIV infection in 2017 was 3.5 per 100,000 population, above that in 2016 of 3.1 per 100,000 population. The notification rate in the Aboriginal population rose to 9.6 per 100,000 in 2017, up from 4.8 per 100,000 in 2016.

There were 11 notifications of newly acquired hepatitis B infection in 2017, above the five year average (2012-2016) of nine cases per year. There were 272 notifications of unspecified hepatitis B virus infection reported in 2017. The notification rate has declined in the Aboriginal population over the past five years.

There were 32 notifications of newly acquired hepatitis C in 2017. The majority of cases were males (75%). The notification rate of unspecified hepatitis C infection was 23 per 100,000 population in 2017.

There were 10 new diagnoses of hepatitis D infection in 2017, which is consistent with the five year average of 10 notifications per year.