HIV notifications in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are increasing, mainly in men, mainly in Qld, particularly in regional settings. Transmission risks are different - higher IDU and heterosexual transmission than amongst non-Indigenous individuals.

Prof Russell spoke specifically about the FNQ outbreak that commenced in Cairns in 2014, and now included about 30 new diagnoses. Coinfections with syphilis is common (known concurrent / preceding syphilis outbreak in the area), and there have been 5 deaths due to congenital syphilis. This in itself is staggering. Mainly young men (2 women). Mainly MSM though not gay-identifying. Only sporadic IDU use has been reported. New cases include Cape York, Torres Strait and NT. 

Various measures that could be considered with regard to prevention were considered -systemically in this talk by this experienced HIV clinician who has been based in Cairns now for many years.

A Recent audit found significant numbers at high risk of onward HIV transmission in need of case mx and extra support. Significant need for individualised management. Leaks from the Treatment cascade are myriad/multiple - shame/stigma, as well as more mundane issues like money/transport availability, poor hosing, low health literacy, alcohol and drug use. Furthermore this is generally a highly mobile population.

The importance of knowing your epidemic is illustrated dramatically here.