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Advocacy for a prison needle and syringe program trial with prominent Australians

Advocacy for a prison needle and syringe program trial with prominent Australians

There are about 30,000 Australians in correctional facilities, an estimated 71 per cent of whom had used illicit drugs in the 12 months before incarceration. In the words of the National NSP Strategic Framework, “injecting drug use in prison and the absence of NSPs in prisons represents a gap, a risk and a limitation in all jurisdictions and requires urgent attention”. Only the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has publicly explored the possibility of introducing a needle and syringe program (NSP) in a prison. The single biggest obstacle has, and remains, opposition from the prison officers’ union which threatens industrial action.

Political and supporting media strategy has been critical in positioning in-prison NSP as a responsible public health measure. Anex established a Harm Minimisation in Prisons Committee (HMPC) comprising respected medical and research leaders. Prominent Australians from across the political spectrum were enlisted as a means of publically re-positioning prison NSP away from its portrayal as a “leftist” pro-prisoner rights issue as its opponents often do. Former military leaders have signed up, as has Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, the eminent Sir Gustav Nossal, former Governor General Bill Hayden as well Janet Holmes a Court.

We proposed that the Government establish an investigation into potential models and steps to overcome barriers to implementation. The Public Health Association was contracted to conduct the investigation which concluded a trial is feasible and recommend it should proceed. The decision is expected later this year. At least three other jurisdictions’ officials have privately expressed willingness to investigate prison NSP options.
Enlisting respected opinion leaders from across the political spectrum has provided enhanced political legitimacy for a contentious area of corrections practice. Ongoing and careful political strategy throughout other jurisdictions is required to supplement the existing evidencebase supporting prison NSP.

Speakers: John Ryan

Australasian Sexual Health Conference 2011

Current Medical Treatment of Premature Ejaculation

Over the past 20-30 years, the Premature Ejaculation (PE) treatment paradigm, previously limited to behavioural psychotherapy, has expanded to include drug treatment. Animal and human sexual psychopharmacological studies have demonstrated that serotonin and 5-HT receptors are involved in ejaculation and confirm a role for SSRIs in the treatment of PE. Multiple well-controlled evidence-based studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of SSRIs in delaying ejaculation, confirming their role as first-line agents for the medical treatment of lifelong and acquired PE. Daily dosing of SSRIs is associated with superior fold increases in IELT compared to on-demand SSRIs.

The importance of mobility in sustaining high STI prevalence in remote indigenous communities

Despite high rates of screening and treatment in many remote Indigenous communities in Australia, diagnosis rates for sexually transmitted infections (STI), chlamydia and gonorrhoea in particular, remain alarmingly high. One contributing factor may be the high rate of temporary mobility for residents of remote communities. We use mathematical modelling to explore the impact of mobility on STI transmission within remote communities.

Gay men prefer partner notification by short message service (SMS) rather than e-postcards: a web-based evaluation

In 2006 two new innovative features were added to the WhyTest website; the ‘Tell them’ service allowing visitors to forward anonymous e-postcard or short message services (SMS) to sexual partners who may have been exposed to an STI, and the ‘remind me’ service allowing visitors to register for a 3, 6 or 12 monthly SMS reminder for a sexual health check. We describe the usage of the new website functionality, and recognition of a health promotion campaign conducted in January-June 2007 to promote these new features.

Lighting the fire, not filling the pail - positioning sexuality in the Australian curriculum

This symposium presentation will discuss conceptual approaches to how processes underway to develop the Australian Curriculum might link to improved sexual health outcomes. It will also explore the assumptions underpinning the ‘partnership’ between health and education sectors to uncover both the opportunities and the pitfalls for those who want to promote young people’s learning. 

Oropharyngeal carcinoma related to human papillomavirus

Human papillomavirus (HPV) induced oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma is a unique subtype of oropharyngeal cancer. It has a significantly better prognosis than that caused by tobacco and/ or alcohol. The incidence of HPV related oropharyngeal cancer is raising in the western countries.

High chlamydia prevalence found among young Australian men and women - results from the Australian Chlamydia Control Effectiveness Pilot (ACCEPt).

ACCEPt is a multi-state cluster randomised trial that aims to increase annual chlamydia testing in 16-29 year olds attending general practice. 54 postcodes (80% in rural areas) are being randomised to a multi-faceted intervention and GP clinics within each postcode enrolled. The primary outcome is change in chlamydia prevalence, and a prevalence study is being conducted at the beginning and end of the trial. We report on the findings of the baseline prevalence study.

Surgical Aspects of Transgender Medicine

Surgery for gender dysphoria was not routinely available prior to the 80’s, surgery and psychiatry having had an unhappy liaison. While gender dysphoria is DSM classified it’s not because it is deemed to be an illness, rather than to give guidelines as to establishing a diagnosis, and surgery is now deemed to be an appropriate activity.