Aboriginal people in Victoria make up 0.6% of the population, yet are over represented in rates of injecting drug use (11% in Victorian Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) survey), methadone prescription and incarceration, all are risk factors for HIV transmission. At a national level, HIV rates are at similar levels in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, but HIV exposure rates through injecting drug use are six times higher in the Indigenous community.
The Yiaga ba Wadamba project (Woi-wurrung phrase meaning ‘find and renew’), was conducted by VACCHO in partnership with Anex. VACCHO spoke with 69 urban and rural Aboriginal people who inject drugs about their injecting practices, sexual health, and use of health services. Many spoke about the shame, isolation and the stigma they experience as a result of their drug use. Some of the other findings included barriers to accessing sterile injecting equipment and these included service location and hours of operation, a lack of cultural safety, concerns about confidentiality or anonymity and potential or prior experiences of discrimination. Due to the ongoing stigma associated with HIV and injecting drug use, sustained strategic responses in Aboriginal health services can be challenging.
In this presentation, VACCHO will explore some of these challenges and how on-going efforts to keep HIV and harm reduction on the agenda of Aboriginal Community Controlled health sector needs to be inventive and have varied approaches. VACCHO has delivered Aboriginal heath worker training and peer education, developed strong partnerships in harm reduction, developed resources and worked with our member ship to re-orientate service delivery to be more accepting of harm reduction and see that NSPs are a health promotion strategy to keep HIV current. The ultimate aim for these strategies is the reduction of the rates of HIV in Victorian Aboriginal people who inject drugs and embed Blood Borne Virus prevention in Aboriginal health services.
Background: STI prevalence is changing. With society aging, life expectancy increasing and changes in sexual practices, STIs in senior citizens are of interest from economic, health related and social burden perspectives. Few studies on STIs in older men greater than 60 years of age exist, hence, a need to obtain further information about this subpopulation.
Conducting clinical audits in the context of continuous quality improvement (CQI) programs in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) has provided valuable information regarding what factors facilitate or create challenges to improving outcomes in sexual health service delivery.
Homosexual men are at increased risk of anal cancer. Screening and treatment of the precursor, HSIL, has been advocated by some, but screening is not recommended in widely-accepted guidelines. We aimed to describe the prevalence, incidence, and clearance rates of anal HSIL, and association with human papillomavirus (HPV) status, in a community-recruited cohort of homosexual men.
HIV positive gay men have high rates of cigarette smoking. The risks of smoking in addition to the elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and some malignancies in people with HIV means smoking cessation interventions should be prioritised.
We investigated the association between chlamydia detection and stage in the menstrual cycle to investigate whether chlamydia detection was higher at different stages of the cycle. Electronic medical records for women attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre March 2011 - 31st December 2012, who were tested for chlamydia by nucleic acid amplification of high vaginal, cervical, or urinary samples, and who recorded a date of last normal menstrual period (LNMP) between 0-28 days were included in the analysis. Logistic regression was used to calculate OR (95%CI) for the association of chlamydia with menstrual cycle adjusted by demographics and behavioural variables.
Chlamydia is prevalent among young Australians. The latest national surveillance report (2011) shows a rate of diagnosis of 1400 per 100,000 population aged 15-29 years. In Victoria, the number of notifications in 2011 was 19,238; 81% in 15-29 year olds; however notifications continue to rise in all age groups. International evidence suggests chlamydia reinfection is responsible for a substantial burden of infections. Given the associated health risks, monitoring reinfection in the population is important to understand disease burden and evaluate interventions. We describe the rate of reinfection and time between infections in Victoria, 2004-2011.