News, Media Release | 16 OCtober 2017 | It is with great sadness that the Board of the ASHM announces the passing of Adjunct Associate Professor Levinia Crooks, AM today after a long and courageously fought illness. Levinia was 56 and is survived by her mother, Judy. Levinia’s contribution to the work of ASHM has been untiring, far-reaching, extraordinary and exemplary. She was Chief Executive Officer from November 1999 to September 2017 and has been a leading advocate in the Australasian and international BBV and STI field.
News, Media Release | 1 October 2017 | Ita Buttrose today marked International Day of Older Persons by launching a new nationally-accredited training program for frontline aged care staff who provide support to people with HIV in aged-care settings. The first nationally-accredited training of its kind focuses on the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to provide support to people with HIV in a variety of aged-care settings. These include residential care, family homes and community-day settings.
Sector News | 4 April 2017 | The shortage of adult formulation Engerix-B (hepatitis B vaccine) that Australia has experienced since November 2016, is expected to continue until at least January 2018. A shortage of the alternative vaccine H-B-Vax-II® is also now being experienced due to an increase in demand for its use.
Sector News | 26 September 2017 | Today on World Contraception Day – the annual worldwide campaign to improve awareness of contraception and to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health, ASHM's International Program takes the opportunity to highlight some of its work that supports the strengthening of Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services in our Pacific region.
Sector News | 15 September 2017 | According to the Global Burden of Disease study released, deaths caused by viral hepatitis have surpassed all chronic infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The study illustrates that in 2016, the total deaths caused by viral hepatitis, including liver cancer, acute cases, cirrhosis, hepatitis A, E, B, C and D account for 1.34 million deaths globally (2,113 deaths in Australia), exceeding tuberculosis (1.2 million; 73 in Australia), HIV/AIDS (1 million; 74 in Australia) and malaria (719,000; 0 in Australia). In Australia, HBV accounted for 1023 deaths (including 657 from cirrhosis and 269 from liver cancer) and HCV for 1078 deaths (including 585 from cirrhosis and 488 from liver cancer).
Sector News | 10-16 September 2017 | Victorians are being encouraged to visit their GP to get tested, and if required, treated, in a bid to reduce surging rates of STIs including gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia, and blood borne viruses among at-risk populations. Minister for Health Jill Hennessy also announced a package which will include $247,000 to the North West Melbourne Primary Health Network to help GPs across Victoria detect and treat STIs, sooner. From October 2017, the Victorian HIV and Hepatitis Integrated Training and Learning (VHHITAL) program will be expanded to support more GPs to test more people, more often. The program educates and trains GPs for the diagnosis, treatment and management of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C and STIs.
Community and Peer Statement | 6 September 2017 | This statement was developed by peer delegates from across the world at the INHSU 2017 Community Day, held on Tuesday, 5th September 2017, and presented to the opening plenary session of the 6th International Symposium on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users (INHSU 2017). At INHSU 2017 the community most affected by hepatitis C - people who use drugs - call upon researchers, clinicians and all delegates to fight alongside us for our right to treatment.
Sector News, Media Release | 6 September 2017 | An international conference bringing together hepatitis C experts from around the world is today calling for strategies to prioritise people who use drugs, saying hepatitis C elimination is impossible without them. “The number of people around the world dying from hepatitis C is increasing. We have the tools to reverse this trend, to eliminate this disease and save millions of lives. But it will not happen until people who use drugs become a focus of our efforts,” said Associate Professor Jason Grebely, President of the International Network of Hepatitis C in Substance Users (INHSU), the convenors of the conference.
Sector News | 6 September 2017 | Critical steps towards addressing HIV in Australia provides a unique perspective on the current state of HIV in Australia, and is a product of close consultation with community representatives, community-based healthcare professionals and people living with HIV.
News, Media Release | 1 September 2017 | Adjunct Associate Professor Levinia Crooks, AM has resigned due to health reasons, as Chief Executive Officer of ASHM. A/Prof Crooks has worked tirelessly for the organisation for eighteen years and her outstanding professional and personal contribution to the HIV and broader BBV and sexual health responses in Australia have been invaluable.
News, Media Release | 31 August 2017 | ASHM strongly oppose the measures contained in schedules 12, 13 and 14 of the Federal Government’s Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017. The provisions are ineffective and likely to further increase stigma, marginalisation and poverty we urge they not be pursued.
News, Media Release | 23 August 2017 | ASHM congratulates the NSW Ministry of Health under the leadership of Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant with remarkable data released today in the NSW HIV Second Quarter Data Report 2017. “These new data mark 12 months of rapid decline in new HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men – the lowest recorded number of new HIV diagnosis in NSW since HIV emerged in the 1980s,” Dr Chant said. “NSW is a world leader in preventing HIV and is on track to achieve its goal of virtually eliminating HIV transmission by 2020 under the NSW HIV Strategy 2016-2020.”
News, Media Release | 18 August 2017 | The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), the key committee of experts which advises new medicines for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) announced that it has deferred the application from Gilead Sciences and Mylan Australia to have their products approved for HIV Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP takes the form of a daily tablet containing tenofovir and emtricitabine and, when used daily reduces the risk of HIV transmission by up to 99%.
News, Media Release | 1 August 2017 | Australia is poised to be one of the first countries in the world to eliminate hepatitis C, according to experts gathered at the Australasian Viral Hepatitis Elimination Conference in Cairns today.
News, Media Release | 1 August 2017 | ASHM welcomes the addition of the hepatitis C treatment drug EPCLUSA® (SOFOSBUVIR with VELPATASVIR) to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 August 2017 as both an Authority Required General Schedule (Section 85) and Highly Specialised Drugs (HSD) Program (Section 100) listing.
News | 24 July 2017 | For three ASHM-managed conferences this year – the Australasian Viral Hepatitis Elimination Conference (AVHEC), the Australian HIV&AIDS Conference and Australasian Sexual Health Conference – ASHM are proudly supporting SEW (Supporting + Empowering Women) in a new initiative that will supply our conference delegates with a conference satchel from this registered Australian NGO.
News, Media Release | 28 July 2017 | With the availability of effective vaccines and treatments for hepatitis B and a cure for hepatitis C, the elimination of viral hepatitis is achievable and this is the theme of World Hepatitis Day 2017. With close to half a million Australians living with chronic hepatitis B and C, it is likely there is someone who attends your practice living with hepatitis. It is vital for primary care providers to know the risk factors, test and diagnose people living with hepatitis, to enable treatment to start early enough to halt serious liver damage.
News, Media Release | 6 July 2017 | The new ASHM Australian HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Clinical Guidelines have been published in the Journal of Virus Eradication (Journal of Virus Eradication 2017; 3: pp168–184). These guidelines represent an adaptation and a revision of the 2014 United States Centers for Disease Control's PrEP guidelines. ASHM thanks the CDC for this opportunity to update ASHM’s 2015 PrEP guidelines by using the structure and format of the 2014 CDC PrEP guidelines.
News | 30 June 2017 | Starting on 1 July 2017, ASHM will begin a new four year contract with Queensland Health, continuing our role in workforce development in HIV, viral hepatitis and sexual health across Queensland. We look forward to continuing to deliver this work in partnership with Primary Health Networks, Hospital and Health Services and community based organisations.
Position Statment | 16 June 2017 | A joint Position Statement has been released which aims to strongly refute and reject the findings of the Cochrane Review Report titled Direct-acting antivirals for chronic hepatitis C, published by the Cochrane Hepato‐Biliary Group first published on 6 June 2017.
News, Media Release | 16 June 2017 | The Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) stand united with leading health professionals involved in the treatment of hepatitis C to strongly reject the conclusions drawn by a Cochrane Review report first published on 6 June 2017 by Cochrane Hepato‐Biliary Group, which analysed data from a number of clinical trials to examine whether there is evidence that direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy prevents liver disease, liver cancer or death.
News | 1 June 2017 | Clinical mentoring is critical to ensuring that service providers are supported to provide high quality and up to date HIV and STI care and treatment. ASHM has supported the National Catholic AIDS Office, Papua New Guinea through the Collaboration for Health in Papua New Guinea (CHPNG) since 2003, to strengthen local capacity to manage and care for HIV-positive individuals by training teams of healthcare workers by region or centre; and to provide ongoing support of trained healthcare teams through regular mentoring visits from Australia based clinical specialists.
News | 1 June 2017 | ASHM to roll out education to strengthen the capacity of healthcare professionals working in drug and alcohol clinics or with people who use drugs. The Education Program will be rolled out across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia throughout 2017. ASHM have engaged with experts in each State to deliver the training including expertise across gastroenterology, hepatology and addiction medicine.
News, Media Release | 1 June 2017 | ASHM welcomes the change to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) which allow nurse practitioners to prescribe direct-acting antiviral (DAA) medicines for the treatment of hepatitis C. This change will enable increased capacity for nurse practitioners to enhance the level of care they provide to their patients and clients living with hepatitis C.
News | 12 May 2017 | ASHM encourage our ASHM members to increase the The Journal of Virus Eradication's readership, which will help to support this open-access publication that is free of charge to authors. Please take the time to look at the Journal and submit your work.
News | 4 May 2017 | Mark Wainberg, PhD, Professor in the departments of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology and in Pediatrics at McGill University, died tragically of an asthma attack that he suffered while swimming with his family on 11 April 2017 in Bal Harbour, Florida.
News | 28 April 2017 | Nurses to participate in focus groups for the development of an ASHM project aimed at combatting stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with blood borne viruses accessing health care
News | 4 April 2017 | ASHM is aware that there is currently a current shortage of hepatitis B vaccine in Australia due to a precautionary halt in the manufacturing process and an on-going supply constraint of GSK Engerix-B® (Hepatitis B surface antigen recombinant (yeast) vaccine) adult. As a result CSL-Seqirus who make H-B-Vax-II are experiencing unusually high demand which they can’t completely meet.
News | 10 April 2017 | Great strides have been made in treating and managing BBVs such as hepatitis B, C and HIV in recent times, meaning people living with these conditions can lead full, healthy lives. But is the promise of these treatments being fulfilled for patients?
News | 2-8 April 2017 | The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrates World Health Worker Week to recognize the lasting impact health workers make around the world.
News | 4 April 2016 | ASHM staff, Senior Project Officer Katelin Haynes and Clinical Nurse Melinda Hassall, have concluded the coordination and delivery of five training courses on HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and STIs for a wide audience in Far North Queensland having traveled to Cairns, Thursday Island and Bamaga from the 13-17 March 2017.
News | 4 April 2016 | Australia21 gathered for a one day Roundtable involving 11 senior + experienced law and law enforcement officials, supplemented by five people from drug services and drug research, to consider how Australia could start to make some progress in this field.
News, Media Release | 6 March 2017 | Celebrate. Advocate. Inspire. Empower. March 9 will be the second National Day of Women Living with HIV. Coming the day after International Women's Day, this awareness-raising day was created by Femfatales, a network of women living with HIV of the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA).
News | 1 March 2017 | The International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria is one of the world’s leading tropical medicine conferences, and has been held every four years since 1914. Held in Brisbane, Australia, in September 2016, ASHM was pleased to have partnered with the Australian Society for Parasitology (ASP) and the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) to allow ASHM members to attend the sessions focussing on HIV in developing countries and HIV coinfections with other sexually transmitted infections.
News, Media Release | 28 February 2017 | South Australians at a high risk of acquiring HIV will have the opportunity to benefit from the latest HIV prevention medication through a new partnership. Following the announcement of the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) access trial late last year, Victoria's Alfred Health has been chosen to partner with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), SA Health and local clinics for the study to begin in April.
News | 22 February 2017 | ASHM staff will be travelling to Cairns, Thursday Island and Bamaga from the 13-17 March 2017 to run 6 courses on HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and STIs for a wide audience. This will include a Hepatitis B s100 Prescriber Course on Thursday Island on Wednesday 15 March, for which travel scholarships are still available.
News, Media Release | 22 February 2017 | The Lord Mayor of Sydney has today presented the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney with the key to the city, recognising 30 years of outstanding work with communities to address the HIV epidemic. The symbolic presentation is the highest honour a city can confer upon an individual or an organisation.
News | 13-16 February 2017 | The ASHM Scholarship Program offered scholarships to HIV s100 prescribers (GP/Primary care), Sexual Health Physicians & Hospital Based Specialists managing HIV to attend CROI 2017 (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections) held from 13-16 February, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. On this webpage, five clinicians report back from CROI (as our ASHM scholarship recipients) with blog posts focussing particularly on HIV therapy, HIV comorbidities, and HIV immunepathogenesis.
News | 21 February 2017 | Vulnerable populations in the Pacific are currently not receiving adequate HIV services. This was a key finding of a study conducted by University of New South Wales the and ASHM in 2016 in nine Pacific Island countries in Kiribati, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, The Kingdom of Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and The Republic of Marshall Islands.
News | 18 January 2017 | ASHM was proud to partner with the Sexual Health Society of Queensland (SHSQ) in two joint clinical meetings during AIDS awareness week in November 2016 and will look forward to continuing this partnership in 2017.
News | 19 December 2016 | Bristol-Myers Squibb would like to inform you that the sale and distribution of all strengths of ZERIT® (stavudine) Capsules and Powder for Oral Solution (OS) Videx® (didanosine) will be phased out globally and in New Zealand, effective by March 2017.
News | 8 December 2016 | Positive Life NSW (PLNSW) urges all people diagnosed with HIV + our clinicians to commence combination anti-retroviral therapy (cART) immediately at the point of diagnosis or to speak with your doctor about your options if you’re yet to start treatment.
News | 1 December 2016 | North Western Melbourne PHN is marking World AIDS Day on 1 December by committing to make HIV and AIDS a thing of the past in Melbourne. Melbourne is a Fast Track City, a global network of cities committed to ending the global AIDS epidemic by 2030 through better awareness, prevention and access to treatment. NWMPHN is supporting this goal by helping equip GPs and other primary health care professionals to play their part in cutting HIV infection rates in the community.
News, Conference Resource | 30 November 2016 | The Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference is the premier medical/scientific conference in the Australasian HIV and related diseases sector. The Report from the 2016 Conference held in Adelaide from 16–18 November is now available.
News | 1 December 2016 | HIV is still here - and it's on the move is the national World AIDS Day theme encouraging Australians to educate themselves and others about HIV; to take action to reduce the transmission of HIV by promoting prevention strategies; and to ensure that people living with HIV can participate fully in the life of the community, free from stigma and discrimination.
News | 29 November 2016 | Bridget Haire (AFAO President + post-doctoral research fellow, the Kirby Institute) welcomes delegates in the opening plenary of the 16th Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference on 16 November 2016: A quick and dirty summary through a community lens.
News, Media Release | 18 November 2016 | Delegates at Australia’s national HIV/AIDS conference have condemned the governments of S. Australia, W. Australia and Northern Territory over laws that force people accused of criminal offences to undergo mandatory HIV and blood-borne virus testing.
News, Media Release | 11 November 2016 | Rapid developments in technology are transforming the face of Australia's sexual health - both in terms of sexual activity and our means to respond - and Australia needs to 'rethink' its approach to keep up with changing times, say sexual experts.
News, Media Release | 11 November 2016 | New national statistics released from the Australasian Sexual Health and HIV&AIDS Conferences today reveal that HIV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is at an all-time high, with 2015 seeing the highest number diagnosed with HIV since 1992. The rate of HIV notification among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is now more than double the rate in non-Indigenous Australians, and has increased each year for the last five years.
News | 11 November 2016 | This consensus statement was written by leading HIV clinicians and scientists and published in the Medical Journal of Australia on 7 November 2016. The statement is also available on the MJA website.
News | 9 November 2016 | Australia enjoys international acclaim for its revolutionary response to HIV, and most recently, hepatitis C. And rightly so. Not only are we the only country in the world to offer universal access to new, highly effective hepatitis C cures, but our willingness to embrace the latest research – and build evidence-based responses founded on multisector collaboration – are the envy of the world. Yet despite these successes, stigma and discrimination by the health workforce threaten to prevent us from optimising these achievements. It is the responsibility of all health professions, including junior doctors, to educate themselves and take the time to understand the needs of these diverse and often vulnerable populations.
News, Media Release | 1 November 2016 | ASHM welcomes changes to the Pharmaceutical Bureau Scheme (PBS) which will allow skilled and experienced clinicians to initiate hepatitis C treatment using direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for their patient.
News | 28 October 2016 | People working in the Sexual Health + HIV-sector with Australian rural and remote communities are encouraged to join two exciting delegations, in the final lead up to the Australasian Sexual Health + HIV&AIDS Conferences + held in Adelaide this November.
News | 26 October 2016 | The 2016 Deadly Sex Congress was held in Brisbane from 19-20 October with 53 delegates working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sexual health from across Queensland participating in two days of learning, sharing stories and networking.
News, Media Release | 18 October 2016 | Since May 2016, it has been reported that over 3,700 people suspected of using and/or selling drugs have been murdered in the Philippines. These atrocities has been carried out with the explicit endorsement of Filipino President, Rodrigo Duterte.
News | 17 October 2016 | With registrations closing soon for this year's 2016 Australasian HIV+AIDS Conference held in Adelaide (Wednesday 16 - Friday 18 November 2016) that will be held back-to-back with the Australasian Sexual Health Conference (Monday 14 - Wednesday 16 November 2016) — selected members of the conference committee share their voices of encouragement to invite you to join the delegation.
News | 8 October 2016 | New national statistics released today from the 10th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference show that Australia is making great progress towards eliminating hepatitis C, with record numbers now being cured of the disease. The challenge now is how to effectively engage diverse populations in both prevention and treatment programs, and to overcome barriers in the health system preventing many people living with both hepatitis C and hepatitis B from coming forward for testing and treatment.
News, Media Release | 28 September 2016 | New national reports released today show that despite Australia’s great progress towards eliminating hepatitis C, stigma and discrimination by health workers is a barrier preventing many at risk from coming forward for diagnosis + care.
News | 15 September 2016 | The Deadly Sex Congress is an annual forum for Indigenous Sexual Health Workers from across Queensland to update their knowledge, build workforce capacity and share their stories. The congress is run this year in Brisbane from 19-20 October 2016.
News | 15 September 2016 | WORKING in the HIV HEALTH SECTOR? Join a top-rated educational conference (16–18 November, Adelaide, Australia) with world-renowned speakers – learn about new research findings in the sector + increase your knowledge to develop new work practices.
News | 14 September 2016 | Join a multi-disciplinary delegation at the 2016 Australasian Sexual Health Conference (14–16 November, Adelaide, Australia) promising an exciting annual get-together for anyone in the sexual health community.
News, Media Release | 12 September 2016 | Prisons provide one of the most significant opportunities to drive down the prevalence of hepatitis C, and help reach global WHO elimination goals, says new research presented at the 5th International Symposium on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users organized by the International Network for Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU).
News, Media Release | 12 September 2016 | Global health experts are today are calling for the removal of restrictions preventing people who use drugs from accessing new hepatitis C cures. So long as these restrictions exist, the goal of disease elimination will remain out of reach, they say. They are gathered in Oslo for the 5th International Symposium on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users, where new research continues to highlight not just the pivotal role treatment for people who use drugs plays in reducing hepatitis C transmission, but also how it can be rolled out to achieve best results.
News | 29 August 2016 | Invested in a future of #NoHep in Australasia? We urge you to join a multi-disciplinary delegation at the Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference (29 Sept – 1 Oct 2016, Gold Coast). The registration closing date to join closes soon on 18 September.
News | 29 August 2016 | The 3rd International HIV/Viral Hepatitis Co-Infection Meeting: Improving Diagnosis, Antiviral Therapy and Access was held on 17 July 2016, Durban, South Africa.
News, Media Release | 19 August 2016 | The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), the key committee of experts which advises government on which drugs to subsidise through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) today announced that it has rejected the application from Gilead Sciences to list Truvada® for HIV Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PREP).
News | 28 July 2016 | The introduction of legislations to HIV and hepatitis medications on the Pharmaceutical Bureau Scheme's Highly Specialised Drug (HSD) programs in 2015 and 2016 have changed the way that pharmacies have been able to prescribe and dispense these drugs. As a result, community pharmacies are placed in an increasingly central and pivotal role in managing the treatment and ongoing care of clients in the Australian community. Pharmacists – both in hospital and community settings – are now urged to become part of an exciting delegation of three forthcoming conferences in 2016 where leadership, science and community meet for advancing prevention, treatment and management of HIV, viral hepatitis and sexual health.
News | 28 July 2016 | On World Hepatitis Day, with two months leading to the 10th Australasian Viral Hepatitis 2016 Conference held in the Gold Coast, Queensland from 29 September to 1 October–hear, learn and be inspired from a multidisciplinary delegation who will be sharing research, experiences and best practices in the areas of their expertise.
News | 4 August 2016 | A ROADSHOW event showcasing new approaches to HIV treatment and its prevention was rolled out over two weeks across 8 locations in Queensland from 25 July to 4 August, 2016.