Recent focus groups suggest that young people have high levels of knowledge about safe sex, but do not always put this into action. One reason is a lack of confidence in talking about sex with partners. Learning from entertainment media, this project aimed to make talking about safe sex ‘sexy’ rather than ‘scientific’ (which is how safe sex knowledge is usually conveyed by schools and public health campaigns), by using a ‘Yes, no, maybe’ list.
100 university students were given a list of 62 sex acts to discuss with partners. 12 weeks later 126 students were surveyed.
The list included ‘unprotected sex’ as one possible option. Of the 126 students surveyed 12 weeks after the distribution of the list, 35% had seen the list. Of those who had seen the list and had sex with at least one new sexual partner, 69% had discussed condom use with all new partners. Of those who had not seen the list and had sex with at least one new sexual partner, only 46% had discussed condom use with all sexual partners. Of those who saw the list and had sex with a new partner, 54% had sex without a condom, with 29% regretting it. Of those who did not see the list and had sex with a new partner, 62.5% had sex without a condom, and 49% regretted it.
The idea of the list was to create a fun or ‘sexy’ environment where unprotected sex might be discussed and Health Protective Sexual Communication fostered. In the future, further data collection with a larger sample size would be beneficial.
The majority of HIV diagnoses including delayed diagnoses in Australia occur among men who report homosexual contact – hereafter called gay and bisexual men (GBM). Delayed diagnosis is strongly associated with increased HIV-related mortality and morbidity. People who are unaware of their HIV-positive status may also be unwittingly transmitting HIV. We assessed trends in delayed HIV diagnoses among GBM in Australia.
HIV-associated leishmaniasis, endemic in the Mediterranean basin is a growing problem in India, Brazil and East Africa. Despite surviving for than 20 years, the clinical course of our visceral-leishmania (VL)-HIV co-infected patient illustrates several management challenges including diagnosis, speciation and drug resistance; monitoring burden of disease; access to and use of VL-treatments; end-organ toxicity and the combined immunosuppressive effects of HIV-VL.
Adherence to combination antiretroviral therapy (cART ) plays an important role on treatment outcomes. The TREAT Asia Studies to Evaluate Resistance – Monitoring Cohort Study (TASER-M) collects patients’ adherence based on a Visual Analogue Scale. The aim of this analysis was to assess the rates of, and factors associated with, suboptimal adherence in the first 24 months of initial cART in Asian patients.
REACH was a collaborative research and practice initiative to develop evidence building frameworks, capacity, tools and resources with the Victorian HIV community partnership.
HIV disease is associated with chronic inflammation and activation of the innate immune system. This state, as measured using plasma markers of inflammation, persists following suppression of HIV viremia using antiretroviral therapy, and may increase risk of non-AIDS co-morbidities. The causes of innate immune activation in the setting of virological suppression are unclear. Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells that kill virus-infected and transformed cells without prior sensitization. We have shown that NK cells are activated both phenotypically (elevated expression of HLA-DR) and functionally (increased spontaneous degranulation measured by CD107a surface expression) in virologically suppressed (VS) HIV+ individuals. NK cells also lose expression of CD16, the receptor which mediates antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity.
Regular HIV testing is recommended in men who take sexual risks. We assessed the relationship between perceived barriers to HIV testing, and frequency of testing among men who engaged in unprotected anal intercourse with casual partners (UAIC), to inform HIV testing strategies.
In recent years there has been a widespread uptake of smartphones with internet access and location services and the development of mobile ‘apps’ for gay men to meet each other. We reviewed data collected in the Sydney and Melbourne Gay Community Periodic Surveys (GCPS) to identify which men were relying on mobile and internet methods to meet each other and whether these methods were associated with different risk practices.