Disparities in characteristics in accessing public Australian sexual health services between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible MSM

Disparities in characteristics in accessing public Australian sexual health services between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible men who have sex with men

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health

Anysha M. Walia, Christopher K. Fairley, Catriona S. Bradshaw, Marcus Y. Chen, Eric P.F. Chow

First published: 31 August 2020
https://doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.13029
Abstract:

Objectives: Accessible health services are a key element of effective human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infection (STI) control. This study aimed to examine whether there were any differences in accessing sexual health services between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible men who have sex with men (MSM) in Melbourne, Australia.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, cross‐sectional study of MSM attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre between 2016 and 2019. Demographic characteristics, sexual practices, HIV testing practices and STI diagnoses were compared between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible MSM.

Results: We included 5,085 Medicare‐eligible and 2,786 Medicare‐ineligible MSM. Condomless anal sex in the past 12 months was more common in Medicare‐eligible compared to Medicare‐ineligible MSM (74.4% vs. 64.9%; p<0.001) although the number of partners did not differ between groups. There was no difference in prior HIV testing practices between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible MSM (76.1% vs. 77.7%; p=0.122). Medicare‐ineligible MSM were more likely to have anorectal chlamydia compared to Medicare‐eligible MSM (10.6% vs. 8.5%; p=0.004).

Conclusions: Medicare‐ineligible MSM have less condomless sex but a higher rate of anorectal chlamydia, suggesting they might have limited access to STI testing or may be less willing to disclose high‐risk behaviour.

Implications for public health: Scaling up access to HIV and STI testings for Medicare‐ineligible MSM is essential.

Online training: Hepatitis C in Primary Care

ASHM, August 2020

This training aims to provide participants with the knowledge and confidence to pursue the management of HCV in their primary care setting.

Primary care providers can play a critical role in the elimination of hepatitis C in Australia by 2030.

This workshop will provide an overview of the management of HCV in primary care
settings, including case finding, testing, patient assessment and treatment.

Learning Objectives:

• Identify priority populations for HCV screening
• Order and interpret tests appropriately to diagnose chronic HCV infection
• Describe the recommended pre-treatment assessment
• Demonstrate understanding of antiviral therapy for treatment of HCV
• Communicate confidently with patients about HCV

Webinar Presenter: Dr Alireza Ahmavand, General Practitioner, Arafura Medical Clinics – Casuarina

Target Audience:
General Practitioners, Nurse Practitioners, nurses, primary care-based practitioners
and other health care workers.

When: Wednesday 19 August 2020 7.30pm – 9.00pm AEST  (7 – 9.30 pm ACST)

Delivered online, free

This activity is allocated 3 activity points in the RACGP QI&CPD Program for the
2020-2022 Triennium.

For further details or assistance contact: Molly Stannard

 

Flux Study COVID-19 Diary Recruitment and Report

Kirby Institute, UNSW, July 2020

Social distancing restrictions due to COVID-19 may affect how gay and bisexual men are arranging their sex lives and taking care of their health. And this will likely also affect trends in HIV infection and STIs over coming months, or even years. Monitoring the impact of COVID-19, before, during, and after the pandemic, is essential to understanding and responding to trends in HIV infection, mental health, and STIs.

​This study investigating the lived experiences of COVID-19 among gay and bisexual men including isolation, support, mental health and resilience, income loss, and access to health services. We will address how gay and bisexual men experience, engage with, and emerge from, COVID-19.

What does participation in this research require? 

If you decide to take part in this study, we will ask you to do the following:

  1. Your first questionnaire: This questionnaire collects information about you and your previous experiences.

  2. Weekly diary: After completing the your first survey, you will be asked to complete a 5-minute diary each Sunday.

What’s in it for you? 

We value our participants! To show our appreciation, for every survey you complete, you’ll automatically go in a raffle to win prizes in the form of gift cards to the value of $200.

Links

Marie Stopes Australia seeks signatories to open letter re changes to telehealth

July 2020
 
There are changes to Telehealth from Monday, July 20th which mean that clients who have not attended a service within the last 12 months – that is, new clients or clients who have not used a service in the last 12 months – will no longer be eligible for a Telehealth appointment.
 
Marie Stopes Australia has written an open letter about the impact of this change access to sexual and reproductive health services. If you are interested in endorsing the letter, you can add your name as a private individual or an organisation. 
 

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)

New fact sheet from SHINE SA: Trichomoniasis

SHINE SA, 17th June 2020

Trichomoniasis is a genital infection caused by the organism trichomonas vaginalis. It is spread through sexual contact.

You can learn more about trichomoniasis by reading our new Fact Sheet.