With wide access to needle and syringe programs, opioid subsitution therapy and hepatitis C treatment, Australia is leading the world in the elimination of hepatitis C. However, an emphasis on active case finding and continuing to move treatment into primary care is essential to maintain our momentum.
This afternoon’s series of lectures on the future of PrEP were incredible, and I was left reflecting on the future of PrEP in Australia. PrEP works, it really does, and I was compelled by Roel Coutinho to believe that if the correct risk groups are targeted, HIV indeed could be eradicated from Australia. There is evidence for increased transmission of STIs, but PrEP is ‘a sexual health program, not a drug’, as was eloquently conveyed by Julia Schillinger, and with PrEP there is a duty to increase testing. Linda-Gail Bekker reminded us that PrEP should be a lifestyle choice rather than a medical intervention, and there needs to be a client centred approach. And, perhaps most relevantly, Nellly Mugo talked about being community centred and integrating PrEP into other programs in the scale-up process.
This afternoon we were invited to consider the implications of breastfeeding from four different perspectives.
Breastfeeding is certainly best all round, for baby and mother, as the first speaker Andrew Prendergast from London reminded us. However the 'viral milkshake' complicates things – mixed up in the breastmilk is the potential for transmission of not just HIV, but a host of viruses such as CMV and HTLV-1.
Phylogenetics: the study of the evolutionary history and relationships among individuals or groups of organisims (e.g. species, or populations).