A recent major review of the Australian STI Management Guidelines for use in Primary Care has resulted in updated recommendations, including that HIV and syphilis testing should be included whenever STI testing is indicated.
This change aims to combat the concerning rise in syphilis diagnoses and pursue the goal of eliminating HIV transmission in Australia, while also removing the stigma associated with demographic-based testing.
“If fully implemented, this may be a step toward normalising HIV testing, allowing women and men (who are not gay and bisexual men who test frequently) to enjoy the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment,” says Dr Nick Medland, Sexual Health Physician and ASHM President.
Another major change was to the adult sexual assault guideline, which is now presented in a ‘time from assault’ framework. Penny Kenchington, Nurse Practitioner and ASHM Vice President, notes that the new guideline takes a trauma informed approach. “It is important that clinicians are given guidance to ensure their clients are safe, listened to and given the care and support they need”.
Other notable changes are summarised at https://sti.guidelines.org.au/whats-new/. A national webinar will be held on 6 December, 12:00pm – 1:00pm (AEDT) in which Dr Jason Ong (Sexual Health Physician and ASHM Board Director) will talk through the key changes clinicians need to know to inform their practice – register here.
The update to the Guidelines was an intensively collaborative process, bringing together a multidisciplinary group of clinical and non-clinical experts representing organisations and jurisdictions from around the country. The hard work has paid off – the Guidelines are now endorsed by the Australian Government’s Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections Standing Committee (BBVSS), and have been officially recognised as an Accepted Clinical Resource by The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
“The STI Management Guidelines are a critically important resource for the Australian primary care workforce,” says Alexis Apostolellis, ASHM CEO. “ASHM is enormously grateful all of the people and organisations who gave their time and expertise to ensure the Guidelines are as up-to-date, inclusive and useful as possible.”
Review the key changes to the Australian STI Management Guidelines for use in Primary Care at https://sti.guidelines.org.au/whats-new/