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.
Women's Health and HIV: Addressing Challenges across the Lifecycle
This symposia session was the only session in the conference focussed entirely on women's health. It was a fantastic introduction for me to the management issues of HIV positive women from adolescence to menopause as I have had minimal exposure especially to adolescent HIV. Yesterday we heard from Associate Professor Darren Russell regarding the increase in HIV diagnoses in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Northern Australia and I am concerned that being based in this region I unfortunately will be involved in more cases of adolescent HIV in the near future. Globally two thirds of new HIV infections are in adolescent girls.
I was surprised when I learned the epidemiology of HIV in women.
HIV is the leading cause of death among women aged 30-49 years globally.
In hundred thousands:
Ischaemic heart disease 150.5
Maternal conditions 148.4
Breast cancer 130.9
and the third cause of death globally for those aged 15-29 years.
Does ART modify hypertensive disorders in pregnancy? Or obstetric haemorrhage? Data is inconclusive.
But the take home message is there is more to antenatal care than prevention of mother to child transmission.
There was a slide regarding the global burden of disease in adolescents. As a GP I feel I am in an ideal setting to screen for many of these issues as I see a higher proportion of young females. These include vaccine preventable diseases, under nutrition, sexual health, violence and injuries, mental health and substance use disorders.