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.

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This morning I attended the Oral presentations for HIV/STI testing and management, looking at different studies around HIV risk.

Brendan Harney from Melbourne presented his study: Risk of HIV following repeat sexually transmissible infections among men who have sex with men in Victoria, Australia. 

This presentation was a retrospective study questioning, if MSM have repeat positive STI diagnoses, are they at an increased risk of HIV transmission? 

Out of 8941 MSM (median age 29, Australian born) surveyed at a busy Melbourne Sexual Health Centres, 2.5% were diagnosed as HIV positive.

Although repeat Chlamydia and Syphilis notifications were common, Rectal gonorrhoea was found to be the highest, with 13.5% of those with a repeat positive gonorrhoea rectal infection becoming HIV positive.

Conclusion? Repeat Gonorrhoea infections are strongly associated with a HIV infection, and that this data is key to looking at PrEP inclusion criteria and why we target specific groups and behavioural activities for PrEP enrolment studies. 

 

Everyone Loves Concert Tickets!

Nittaya Phanuphak (Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Center, Thailand) spoke at AIDS2016 on the topic 'Prevention Equity: How Innovations in HIV Testing and Prevention Technologies can Reduce Incidence Globally'.

She highlighted the inequality of health care in Thailand and outlined that the populations at highest risk for HIV have been missing out. She is involved in a 'Test and Start' program for MSM and Transgender Women in Thailand. The program provides clients with HIV rapid testing, with provision of PrEP (or ART) on the same day.

They have trained up MSM and Transgender Women to provide services for the LGBTI community through the clinic. By design, this creates a work force that is compassionate, caring and culturally aware of the target population.

Their clinic has enrolled over 300 patients in the PrEP Program so far, but they plan to roll this out to a further 3000 MSM and Transgender Women over the next 3 years.

They created the website www.adamslove.org to provide sexual health information and encourage clients to attend the clinic. Everyone loves tickets, so they provide online Eventbrite "concert tickets" that are exchanged for STI tests (Please note that a visit to the clinic is more important, but is much less fun than seeing a show).

Most clients have a phone or webcam and the clinic's sexual health nurse utilises this to conduct online medical consults, providing education in sexual health, counselling and guides patients through performing a home HIV screening test.

Nittaya Phanuphak gave a shout out to NSW in her talk, stating "NSW must be congratulated for their efforts to use PrEP. We hope to learn more from NSW in the next few years" - and we hope to learn more from you Nittaya.