• Impact of Public PrEP Programs

    A report on the proffered papers session on day 3 of the Conference.

    In this session I was particularly interested in the studies from NSW and Victoria looking at the impact of PrEP on STI trends in high risk gay and bisexual men following the introduction of PrEP after the rapid scaling up of access to PrEP.

    PrEP of course targets those already at high STI risk, including recent STI in eligibility criteria. STI incidence was increasing in the years prior to ramping up of PrEP. Condomless sex in Australian gay and bisexual men had also increased from 27% in 2000 to 39% in 2015 prior to easier access of PrEP.

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  • Issues Facing Migrant and CALD Communities

    A report on the proffered papers session on day 3 of the Conference.

    Today I would like to share some thoughts about the presentations relating to issues facing migrant and CALD communities. This included a numbers of sessions within this theme.

    Gavin Prendergast from ACON shared his experience of developing community partnerships to deliver culturally safe and appropriate health messages to culturally and linguistically diverse groups. This demonstrated that done in the right way through partnerships we can reach very vulnerable and difficult to reach groups. This work takes time and a lot of ground work must be done to build trust and to find people from these groups who are enablers. Supporting and enabling these people is the essence to success to this work.

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  • Selected Themes from the HIV-related Clinical Screening Session

    A report on the Screening symposium session on day 2 of the Conference.

    This session tackled common HIV associated medical conditions that we should all be thinking about regularly, the management of which I am sure we could all improve in our daily practices.

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  • Characteristics of Individuals with Heterosexually-acquired Compared with Homosexually-acquired HIV and Implications for Clinical Practice

    A report on Simone Herbert’s presentation on day 2 of the Conference.

    Today I wanted to reflect on the findings presented in the session looking at differences in characteristics of individuals with heterosexually acquired HIV compared with homosexually acquired HIV. We heard yesterday how newly diagnosed men who acquired HIV heterosexually in Australia has increased, yet knowledge by this population remains that of the time of the grim reaper. There is a lot of fear and misconceptions about HIV in this sub-population.

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  • Co-morbidities in HIV

    A report on the theme session on day 1 of the Conference.

    How lucky are we that we have so many resources at our fingertips? That care and management of chronic health conditions has now become more about prevention of the ageing process and less about HIV and more about body systems.

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  • HIV Self-Testing in Practice

    A report on the Self-testing in Practice proffered papers session on day 1 of the Conference.

    Attending an ASHM conference is always a great event for gaining and knowledge and new ideas, and catching up with old friends and meeting colleagues.

    A new topic for me which I felt would be interesting to explore were the presentations about missed opportunities for testing, and how HIV self testing (HIVST) is becoming an option for hard to reach or under tested populations.

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  • Reaching overseas born men who have sex with men for HIV prevention and research – What next?

    A report on the symposium session on day 2 of the Conference.

    One of the emergent themes of this conference that has made an impression on me has been the conversations and debates about “tackling” the issue of working with men who have sex with men wo are born overseas.

    We have seen from the data presented on the first day by Professor Rebecca Guy and repeated throughout the last 2 days. The national trends of new HIV infections state MSM who are born overseas especially Asian and Latin American men. The Kirby Institute indicates that rates for HIV infections have risen from 31% to 47% in 4 years.

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  • Treating gonorrhoea and Mycoplasma genitalium in the era of azithromycin-resistance

    A report on Dr Tim Read’s presentation on Day 2 of the Conference.

    It has been a very interesting 2 days at the conference, lots of new information and perspectives to take in and process. This morning I attended the Theme B session on the ‘Changing face of STI’s’. The session provided interesting dialogue around STI concerns and discussions regarding current trends, how PrEP is or is not affecting STI rates and a presentation of the data related to the syphilis outbreak in regional and remote Australia.

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  • HIV epidemiology in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: Why is there a gap and how do we address it?

    A report on Dr James Ward’s presentation on day 1 of the Conference.

    Australia has seen a “relentless increase” in new HIV diagnoses in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples, said Professor James Ward at the HIVAIDS Conference in Sydney today.

    This increase lies on a background of a reduction of new HIV diagnoses in non-ATSI populations, and highlights the ongoing inequity in health outcomes for Aboriginal people in Australia. 

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  • Strong leadership building strong communities: The many masks of resilience

    A report on Valerie Nicholson’s presentation “Strong leadership building strong communities: The many masks of resilience”.         

    A very interesting first day at the 2018 Australasian conference in Sydney. I was moved by the words of Valerie Nicholson, Chair of the Board of Directors Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network. Her talk highlighted the effects of colonisation on first peoples throughout the world. The experiences of the Canadian first peoples echoes that of Australia’s first people. Canada has seen a rise in the incidence of HIV among its First Nation people, especially in regional areas. Now we are beginning to see a similar trend in Australia especially in northern Queensland.

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