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.

Stand-out points: Day 2 Sexual Health Conference 15th November

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Gollow Lecture by Rebecca Guy:

  • Focus on the ever-increasing utility of the various (existing, new & emerging) IT platforms & applications for:
  1. improving client & patient care experience
  2. increased efficiencies / time savings for clinical staff and thus also for the service as a whole
  3. the potential and actual role(s) for technology to be utilised in both primary & secondary prevention

Examples of efficacious technology utilisation:

  • Sydney Sexual Health:
  1. electronic patient self-registration + appointment self-arrival system reduces the amount of time spent in reception by (a significant) 4 minutes
  2. Benefits of CASI (computer assisted self interviewing): "most people don't want to discuss their sex lives in detail with doctors and nurses" => much easier to respond honestly to questions on a screen than go through the 'gruelling agony' of a face to face interview with a clinician
  • Computer prompts for GP's shown in one study to increase opportunistic testing of e.g. chlamydia by a significant 30%
  • Significant improvement in partner notification via websites such as 'Drama Down Under' & 'Let Them Know'
  • Significant increase in re-testing rates utilising an SMS reminder system (NB: ~20% of people have a reinfection within 12 months of a +ve result) => in 2009 SSHC instituted an SMS reminder service. Result: 64% return rate for re-testing; a significant increase in re-testing rates vs a verbal recommendation after Rx. of the first infection
  • * Very interesting 'side discussion' re: the use of online dating & hook-up apps => not only the domain of the young; rather, people of ALL ages are using these platforms. Also of note => people who use these online / dating apps are more likely to have had an STI in the past & more likely to have a higher number of casual partners
  • ?? The Future:
  1. Online Clinics?
  2. Home STI testing?
  • Finally: Rebecca promoted clinicians to access the freely available Kirby Institute Data sets:
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