Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of existing needle and syringe programmes in preventing hepatitis C transmission in PWID

Drug and Alcohol Findings (UK), 2019

What would happen to rates of infection with hepatitis C if we closed down all the needle exchanges? Research has established that needle/syringe programmes are a cost-effective way to reduce spread of HIV, but just two studies have considered the same issue in relation to hepatitis C.

In three UK municipalities, the answers were predicted to be more infections, lost low-cost opportunities to improve and save lives, and in two of the areas, greater health-related costs overall. Conclusion was that these services are among the best investments UK health services can make.

80% of new HIV cases transmitted by undiagnosed or untreated people

Healio, March 18, 2019

In 2016, more than 80% of new HIV infections in the United States were transmitted by individuals who either did not know they were infected with HIV or had been diagnosed but were not receiving care, according to data released on the first day of the National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta.

Drug and alcohol report uncovers burden in regional Australia

ABC Central West, 15/03/2019

A report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has revealed alarming statistics about drug and alcohol use in regional Australia, and the difficulties faced by those seeking treatment.

The report found a 41 per cent increase in drug-induced deaths in regional and remote areas in the decade to 2017, compared to a 16 per cent spike in major cities.

Researchers said this could be attributed to opioid overdoses.

The report found there was a higher rate of people seeking drug and alcohol treatment in regional and remote communities in 2016–17, but they were likely to travel one hour or more to receive treatment.

It also said people in country areas were more likely to smoke, drink heavily, use drugs, and avoid exercise.

In debates about drug use, fun is important

The Conversation, February 8, 2019 6.07am AEDT

Young (and older) people use drugs and alcohol for fun, enjoyment and socialisation. Understanding the social nature of drug use reveals why fun-seeking is so compelling.

When people describe fun, they are often talking about an experience of social connection and belonging. Fun is not insignificant in human lives.

Understanding this might help to make sense of why “just say no” messages are so often ignored.

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.”

Landmark study to track gay and bisexual men’s attitudes on body image

ABC News Breakfast, 15/2/2019

Steroid use is on the rise as young men fuelled by social media lead a dangerous pursuit of muscle-bound perfection, researchers warn.  Now, for the first time, a global study run from Australia will look specifically at how gay and bisexual men are impacted and whether this could be leading to fatal outcomes.

Starting today, 3.5 million men on the Grindr app in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US will be invited to start the Gay Bodies Worldwide survey.