Stigma towards people who inject drugs and sex workers prevalent, according to new Australian study

Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW, July 2020

Priority groups at risk of blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections are still likely to experience negative behaviour from the general public and in healthcare settings according to a recent report from the Stigma Indicators Monitoring Project.

86% of the general public sampled self-reported that they would behave negatively towards people who inject drugs to some extent, as did 56% of healthcare workers and 55% of healthcare students. Additionally, 64% of the general public, and 36% and 31% of healthcare workers and students respectively, self-reported likely negative behaviour (to some extent) towards sex workers.

 

 

Diagnosis and Management of Syphilis in Patients With HIV Co-infection

Khaw, C., Malden, C., Ratnayake, M. et al. Diagnosis and Management of Syphilis in Patients With HIV Co-infectionCurr Treat Options Infect Dis (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40506-020-00225-6

Published

Purpose of review

Syphilis cases are on the increase especially in men who have sex with men (MSM) in urban areas of high-income countries.

There is a strong association between syphilis and HIV infections.

We review the more recent literature regarding the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic investigations, treatment and follow-up of syphilis in HIV infection.

  • Read abstract here (For full text access you can purchase from the publisher or see your librarian)

Baby born with “avoidable” congenital syphilis: experts

InDaily, June 04, 2020

The recent birth of a child in South Australia with congenital syphilis, despite the mother being previously diagnosed and treated for the sexually transmitted infection, has prompted SA Health concern about the quality of the treatment.

[A] public health alert [sent by SA Health] “reminds and advises health practitioners of their responsibilities” in managing syphilis cases and contacts.

General practitioner at not-for-profit sexual health service SHINE SA Amy Moten said the case was “significant” because it was an avoidable outcome.

New ‘Syphilis Is Still Out There’ Campaign for Health Professionals

The Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA) & SHINE SA, May 2020

The Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA) and SHINE SA have released a new social media campaign for health professionals.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of syphilis screening and treatment during COVID-19.

  • Syphilis Is Still Out There Campaign for Health Professionals

While we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the syphilis outbreak in South Australia continues. It’s essential that we continue to test, treat, cure and notify partners during this time.

To learn more visit www.shinesa.org.au/syphilisoutbreak

  • Social Media Tiles and Posters

To help support this campaign and reinforce key messages around syphilis prevention and treatment, we have a range of social media tiles and posters to download.

Help us share this campaign by downloading our social media tiles to share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Use the hashtag #SyphilisIsStillOutThere

Download the files here as a zipped folder: Syphilis Is Still Out There Campaign

Key Messages of this Campaign 

  • Syphilis is still out there #SyphilisIsStillOutThere
  • Syphilis outbreak minimised in 4 steps: test, treat, cure and notify partners
  • Syphilis is still threatening unborn children. Know when to test before, during and after pregnancy

  • For the Community

Stay tuned: whilst this campaign is aimed at health professionals, AHCSA are currently producing resources to share on social media targeted towards community members.

To stay up-to-date follow AHCSA on Facebook.

 

Webinar: Syphilis Outbreak in the Indigenous Community

SHINE SA, posted May 14, 2020

This free education session is presented by Adelaide Sexual Health Centre and will provide an update on syphilis.

General practitioners, nurses and/or midwives, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Aboriginal Health Workers are encouraged to register for this training.

COURSE DETAILS

Date: 16 June 2020
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

The webinar will cover:

  • Update on epidemiology
  • Review of diagnosis, staging and management of syphilis cases
  • How to interpret syphilis serology
  • Syphilis in pregnancy
  • Approaches to Partner Notification
  • Introduction to the South Australian Syphilis Register

Presenters:
Dr Alison Ward, Senior Consultant Sexual Health Physician
Njirrah Rowe, Aboriginal STI Education Coordinator and Partner Notification Officer

This activity is pending RACGP approval for 4 CPD activity points

This session is part of the Syphilis Outbreak Response and is a partnership between SHINE SA and Adelaide Sexual Health Centre.

No cost to attend.

Situational Report: Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Australia

Marie Stopes Australia, Updated 17 April 2020

Situational Report: Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Australia – A request for collaboration and action to maintain contraceptive and abortion care throughout the SARS-COV-2 / COVID-19 pandemic

Executive Summary

We are in a context of increased risk of unplanned pregnancy, reproductive coercion, sexually transmitted infections, lack of pregnancy options and a multitude of barriers to healthcare. Access to contraception and abortion throughout the pandemic will mitigate broader public health risks for years to come. 
.
At Marie Stopes Australia, during the pandemic we have had to:

 Cancel surgical abortion care lists- meaning women and pregnant people have had to continue with their pregnancies or are likely to seek a termination at a later gestation
 Reduce our national gestational limit for surgical abortion to 22 weeks
 Face increased costs in the provision of regional healthcare, having no other option than to charter private flights for clinical staff
 Continuously scramble for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
 Reduce in-clinic list capacity to enable physical distancing
 Reduce contraceptive services in order to prioritise abortion access
 Reduce financial support for clients experiencing financial hardship
 Face increased risk of staff fatigue and burn out
 Evolve models of care in an effort to maintain access to care. To address this situation, we need to review legislation and policy, evolve models of care, maintain people’s rights to access care and make healthcare more affordable.

Key recommendations at this point in the pandemic include:
 All Governments, health and hospital services, and health clinics must consider abortion an essential service with Category 1 classification
 Provide access to medical abortion via telehealth for people living in South Australia
 Increase medical abortion provision to 70 days/10 weeks gestation, supported by the  Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
 All accredited sexual and reproductive healthcare providers should have access to the National Medical Stockpile for PPE
 Intrastate travel support is needed for clinical staff in order to maintain surgical abortion provision in regional and remote clinics
 Do not criminalise women and pregnant people who attempt unsafe abortion

[This report contains] further detail on these points and a longer list of recommendations that Australia will need to consider in o order to maintain sexual and reproductive health
rights throughout the pandemic.