Methods: A national cross sectional survey was administered using hand held personal digital assistants at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community events in every jurisdiction during 2011-2013. Aboriginal organisations and staff were engaged at every level of the project ensuring a self determination approach was applied to this research.
Results: A total of 2877 surveys were completed. 60% were female, median age of respondents was 21, 51% of surveys were collected from residents in major cities, 36% from regional centres and 9% from remote areas. Overall 17% of people aged 16-29 reported never drinking alcohol, including 24% of people aged 16-19, but 11% of 20-24 year olds. However of those that did drink alcohol, the level of consumption considered very risky (seven or more drinks on an occasion) was higher among males compared with females (44% vs. 33%, respectively) and increased with age (32% vs. 42% among 16-19 and 20-24 year olds respectively). Overall 42% and 43% of males and females respectively smoked tobacco. Just over a third (37%) of young people reported smoking cannabis in the last year and around 10% of males and females reported doing so daily. More daily use occurred in increasing age groups. Overall 15% of participants reported using methamphetamines, and 17% reported using ecstasy in the last year. No increases in use were observed with increasing age groups.
Discussion: This data supplements other national available data and provides comparative data to other population groups. Increasing harm minimisation strategies to reduce alcohol and other drug use in young people are required, especially among young males.
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.
Gay men remain the primary population affected by HIV in Australia. While recent attention has been focused on increasing HIV testing and the use of antiretroviral-based prevention to reduce infections, it is equally important to sustain safe sex and other risk reduction practices. Increases in unprotected anal intercourse (UAI), for example, may counteract any beneficial changes in testing and treatment.
This presentation, "Responding to the needs of consumers with complex trauma histories a consumer perspective" focuses on the needs of adult survivors of child abuse, highlighting the frequent