Sexual minority women face barriers to health care

The Conversation, October 23, 2019 9.25pm AEDT

Stigma and discrimination are common experiences that people who identify as LGBT or sexual minority face when accessing health services. One report found that one in seven LGBT people in the UK avoided seeking healthcare for fear of discrimination from staff. As many as one in four also experienced negative remarks against LGBT people from healthcare staff.

 

HIV & the Law: updated content from ASHM

Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine, 2019

The NEW Guide to Australian HIV Laws and Policies for Healthcare Professionals includes two new sections on Mandatory Testing for HIV and My Health Record.

This resource aims to provide health care workers with information on legal and ethical responsibilities under various laws and regulations related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It does not contain legal advice. Those seeking advice on individual cases should contact their health department, solicitor or their medical defence organisation as appropriate.

In the interests of brevity, laws have been summarised and re-written specifically as they relate to HIV. In many instances key legislation is more broadly targeted at a range of infectious diseases (with definitions varying by state).

All efforts have been made to ensure the content is current at time of publication.

‘Sussing that doctor out’: Experiences of people affected by hepatitis C regarding private GPs in SA

‘Sussing that doctor out.’ Experiences and perspectives of people affected by hepatitis C regarding engagement with private general practitioners in South Australia: a qualitative study

BMC Fam Pract. 2017 Nov 29;18(1):97. doi: 10.1186/s12875-017-0669-2.

Abstract

Background: Australians with chronic hepatitis C (HCV) can access affordable Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) treatments with high cure rates (>90%), via General Practitioners (GPs). Benefits from this treatment will be maximised if people with HCV readily disclose and engage with private GPs regarding HCV-related issues. Investigating the perceptions and experiences of people affected by HCV with GPs can allow for this pathway to care for HCV to be improved.

Methods: In 2013–2014, 22 purposively sampled participants from South Australia (SA) were interviewed. They a) had contracted or were at risk of hepatitis C (n = 10), b) were key workers who had clients affected by HCV (n = 6), and c) met both a) and b) criteria (n = 6). The semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed.

Results: People affected by HCV viewed GPs as a source of general healthcare but, due to negative experiences and perceptions, many developed a strategy of “sussing” out doctors before engaging with and disclosing to a GP regarding HCV-related issues. Participants were doubtful about the benefits of engagement and disclosure, and did not assume that they would be provided best-practice care in a non-discriminatory, non-judgemental way. They perceived risks to confidentiality and risks of changes to the care they received from GPs upon disclosure.

Conclusion: GPs may need to act in ways that counteract the perceived risks and persuade people affected by HCV of the benefits of seeking HCV-related care.

MSM in London diagnosed with early syphilis are a priority group for PrEP

nam/aidsmap, 16 October 2017

Gay and other men who have sex with men (MSM) recently diagnosed with early syphilis are a priority group for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), results of a study published in Sexually Transmitted Infections suggest.

Over two years of follow-up, 11% of men diagnosed with early syphilis subsequently became infected with HIV. Incidence of rectal sexually transmitted infections and syphilis re-infection was also high.

“Our study highlights early syphilis as a risk factor for HIV acquisition in MSM,” write the investigators. “Intensive risk reduction and PrEP would be beneficial for HIV-negative MSM with early syphilis by reducing their risk of HIV acquisition.”

SA Govt funds SHINE SA for more mental health support for the LGBTIQ community during marriage equality survey

Ian Hunter MLC, September 16, 2017

The State Government will provide extra mental health and counselling services for the LGBTIQ community due to expected increases in demand while the marriage equality postal survey is conducted.

According to beyondblue, LGBTI Australians have an increased risk of depression, anxiety, self-harming and suicidal thoughts. And they are twice as likely to suffer physical, verbal and emotional abuse.

There is widespread concern throughout the community that these issues will be exacerbated, particularly among young LGBTIQ people, as the nation debates changes to the Marriage Act.

In response, the South Australian Government is providing a one-off payment of $100,000 to SHINE SA to deliver extra services to the LGBTIQ community throughout South Australia.

SHINE SA is the lead agency for health and wellbeing services to the LGBTIQ community in South Australia. With Rainbow Tick accreditation and the state licence to provide HOW2 training for inclusive services, SHINE SA will utilise its strong networks with the LGBTIQ community to provide face-to-face, telephone and online services to people experiencing emotional and mental health issues over the coming months.

Dedicated telephone outreach services for LGBTIQ South Australians living in remote and regional areas that face the additional challenges of distance and isolation will also be provided.

What is going on in gay men’s lives when they acquire HIV?

nam/aidsmap, Published: 08 September 2017

Gay men in England who have recently become HIV positive describe a complex web of factors which may have contributed to their infection, according to a qualitative study recently published in BMJ Open.

“Individuals who experienced multiple stressors, gradually over the life course or more suddenly, were especially vulnerable to HIV and being drawn into sexual risk situations, while the social environment created a context that enabled risk of HIV infection,” the researchers write. Individual and interpersonal factors frequently combined with community or structural factors, such as the widespread use of dating apps, chemsex and HIV treatment, as well as changing perceptions of the seriousness of an HIV infection.