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.

Day 2: HTLV-1

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Presenters:  Dr Llloyd Einsiedel, Shane Schinke, Professor Damian Purcell, Dr Genoveffa Franchini, Professor Graham Taylor, Dr Fabiola Martin


A truly amazing and well rounded session on a disease which has been around since the 1980’s.  Although it’s endemic to many parts of the world, including a high prevalence area in Central Australia, causing high burdens of morbidity with progressive and irreversible neurologic, pulmonary, inflammatory and immune diseases, there are no targeted therapies and it is not widely known in Australian health sectors.


All the speakers had considerable knowledge in identification, treatment and research of HTLV-1.  We were truly fortunate to hear from Shane Schinke, a long serving remote area nurse, who shared his own story of HTLV-1 associated HAMS/TSP which currently has him wheelchair bound. 


Key Points:

·      Endemic in central Australia (HTLV-1c subtype), and many tropical regions of the world

·      Causes adult T-cell lymphoma, pulmonary, neurological changes

·      If suspecting: Diagnose with a Western blot and request HTLV-1 pro viral load


·      More awareness and research is vital

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