‘People are scared’: the fight against a deadly virus no one has heard of

Guardian Australia, Tue 24 Apr 2018 

An Aboriginal woman – we’ll call her B – is sitting in a dry creek bed outside her community and telling the world “this is a very bad disease. But we have to talk in a way not to shame people. Not telling them straight out. Telling them gently and quietly.”

B is talking about a sickness that has killed her family member and is a potential tragedy facing Aboriginal communities in central Australia, who have the world’s highest rates of a fatal, human immune virus for which there is no current cure, no treatment and no coordinated public health response.

Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is transmitted through sexual contact, blood transfusion and from mother to child by breastfeeding. It can cause a rapidly fatal form of leukaemia. Some people die within weeks of diagnosis. HTLV-1 also causes inflammation of the spinal cord leading to paralysis, severe lung disease known as bronchiectasis and other inflammatory disease.

In five communities around Alice Springs, more than 45% of adults tested have the virus, a rate thousands of times higher than for non-Indigenous Australians.

Survey for all women and anyone with a cervix: HPV-related cancer awareness

Positive Life in partnership with Femfatales, the National Network of Women Living with HIV, 2018

All women and anyone with a cervix in Australia, both HIV-positive and HIV-negative, are invited to take an online, anonymous survey about awareness of HPV and related cancers.

Positive Life NSW in partnership with Femfatales, the National Network of Women Living with HIV, has developed a survey to assess levels of HPV-related cancer awareness among women.

The results of this survey will help them better understand how they can support women to prevent HPV-related cancer and how they can support women in recovery from HPV-related cancer. The responses will also assist in the development of targeted educational resources for immunocompromised women and women living with HIV, who are three times more likely to develop cervical cancer. No identifying information will be collected.

The online survey will take approximately eight minutes to complete. If you require a hard-copy of the survey, they can mail some to you with reply paid envelopes: please feel free to contact Katya on (02) 9206 2178 or at KatyaS@positivelife.org.au

Disclaimer – the responsibility for the ethical aspects of this survey are with the organisation Positive Life NSW. SHINE SA accepts no responsibility or liability for the survey.

How HIV Possibly Jumped From Monkey To Man

Asian Scientist, April 12, 2018

Scientists in Japan have discovered a protein that may have enabled the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) to be transmitted to humans. Their findings are published in Cell Host & Microbe. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is believed to have evolved from a SIV that originated in chimpanzees.

Spread the Cure – Wipe Hep C off the Map – Free webinar

 Merck Sharp & Dohme

According to estimates, Australia can completely eradicate hep C in about 10 years. But your involvement is needed.

This practical webinar will allow you to gain knowledge and get involved in this important public health initiative.

After attending this webinar, you should be able to:

  • Understand benefits of highly effective new hep C treatments for your patients
  • Understand rationale of a treat-to-prevent strategy for hep C
  • Define GPs’ central role in screening, diagnosis and treatment of hep C
  • Screen, diagnose, assess and treat hep C patients based on the tools provided.

Speaker: Dr Stephen Pianko, is Head of Clinical Trials at Monash Health in Gastroenterology. Stephen has been involved in the treatment of hepatitis C for the past 25 years.

Webinar details: 14th September 2017.

NSW/TAS/ACT/VIC/QLD: 8.00-9.45 pm
SA/NT: 7.30-9.15 pm
WA: 6.00-7.45 pm

epid
The webinar is  aimed at doctors and nurses interested in treating Hepatitis C, although anyone can dial in.

The Evidence for U=U: Why Negligible Risk Is Zero Risk

August 10, 2017

Over the last year, hundreds of HIV organisations have joined a new campaign to endorse the statement that HIV transmission does not occur when viral load is undetectable on ART.

And while the dramatic impact of ART on reducing HIV transmission has been known for a long time, it is new to say ART stops transmission completely.

Future prospects for new vaccines against STIs

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases, February 2017 – Volume 30 – Issue 1 – p 77–86
This review provides an update on the need, development status, and important next steps for advancing development of vaccines against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including herpes simplex virus (HSV), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea), Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia), and Treponema pallidum (syphilis).

Major progress is being made in addressing the large global unmet need for STI vaccines. With continued collaboration and support, these critically important vaccines for global sexual and reproductive health can become a reality.

  • Full text (open access) available here