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ASHM Report Back
Clinical posts from members and guests of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) from various international medical and scientific conferences on HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and sexual health.
New approaches to HIV testing: Delayed HIV testing remains an issue.
New approaches to HIV testing
Delayed HIV testing among men who have sex with men in Australia has improved but remains an issue – Huachun Zou
· Delayed testing (testing less than annually) in MSM has improved but there is still some way to go
· In Australia it is predicted that there are approximately 12-33% of people living with HIV who are undiagnosed
· 2/3 MSM consistently report testing but less than 40% return to be retested within 1yr
· If all MSM were tested as recommended (every 3-6 months), modelling predicts there would be a 14% decrease in new HIV diagnosis
· However, surveys have shown that only 1/3 are ‘very likely’ to increase testing levels. Many MSM don’t test annually and those at higher risk (5 partners in 3/12, >20 partners in 12/12, having had an STI in 2y) tend to be the most unwilling to increase testing.
· ACCESS data from 2007-2014 from 24 sexual health clinics showed those more likely to test >p.a were under 25. Only 36% of high risk MSM tested annually and only 2% ATSI.
· Amongst those at high risk delayed testing has improved from 75% to 69%, with delay in testing being more likely if ATSI, this was statistically significant.
· In conclusion delayed testing is still common in high risk MSM especially if older or ATSI
· Strategies to improve testing further could include ?home based/ self test HIV testing, 3/12, sms reminders (shown to work), computer alerts in GP practices and guidelines on testing (also shown to work).