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.
Patient expectations and case study discussion
The weather has been very kind to us and has been very un-Glasgow like since the start of the congress. For the second consecutive day, a piper welcomed us to the SECC.
It's truly humbling to be in the presence of all these wonderful researchers and inspiring to see all the advances being made in the management of HIV. The focus of many of today's presentations was on HIV and ageing, associated co-morbidities, co-infections, malignancies and mental health. The need for improved screening programs was a recurring theme.
We were again reminded of the 2020 goals which aim for 90% of people with HIV being diagnosed, 90% diagnosed on treatment and 90% on treatment with an undetectable viral load.
Highlights of the day for me included an interesting presentation on 'ARV Optimisation to meet patient needs' by Mark Nelson from the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. He referenced a questionnaire/survey conducted by Redlin in 2014 comparing what health care providers and patients considered important when it came to HIV care and ARV therapy. Interestingly, efficacy of treatment was ranked highest and cost ranked lowest by both arms.
The day was concluded by Fiona Mulcahy of St James Hospital who presented a complex case study of a young immigrant woman with a new HIV diagnosis who was planning pregnancy with her new partner of unknown HIV status. Disclosure was certainly an issue and the consensus was that he should be tested as soon as possible and that she should commence ART. The various options for reducing transmission of HIV to the male partner were discussed, including PrEP. There was some debate and conflicting opinion on how the couple should proceed, though the presenter suggested she would recommend natural conception as long as her viral load was undetectable.
The congress sadly concludes tomorrow. There are some exciting presentations to look forward to, including, but not limited to PrEP, the future of ARV's, drug interactions and new drugs.