• Viable and Dead Chlamydia Trachomatis


    The final presentation of day 1 of the conference proved rewarding as Nicole Lima introduced us to the VITA RT-PCR, a molecular test which allows for the differentiation of viable and dead Chlamydia trachomatis and the potential impacts this test could have on clinical practice.

    Current testing for Chlamydia using nucleic acid amplification tests detect the DNA of Chlamydia but tells us little about its viability. DNA can persist for a long time after effective treatment of Chlamydia and in patients who have been exposed to but self-cleared Chlamydia.

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  • A GP's perspective

    A report back on Teddy Cook and Shoshana Rosenberg’s presentation, ‘The inaugural Australian Trans and Gender Diverse Sexual Health Survey: Barriers, Resilience, and the Impact of Trans-Led Research’ 

    I was delighted to see trans sexual health included in the opening plenary of the ASHM Sexual Health conference this year. Teddy Cook (Manager, Trans & Gender Diverse Health Equity, ACON) and Shoshana Rosenberg (University Associate, Curtin University) presented the findings from the largest ever Australian sexual health survey relating specifically to the trans and gender diverse (TGD) community. 

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  • Syphilis Epidemic

    A report back on Dr Clare Huppatz presentation, 'WA Syphilis Epidemiology'.

    At the WA syphilis symposium we heard from Dr Clare Huppatz who outlined the syphilis epidemic as it has moved through Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. We heard that women aged 20-34 were amongst those most affected in Western Australia. Similarly, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were disproportionately affected with a rate ratio for Indigenous to non-Indigenous of 14:1. We were shown lots of graphs of infectious syphilis going “up and up” and were told that this is not just due to increased awareness and testing but increased test positivity as well.

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  • The Importance of Peers

    A report back on the HIV&AIDS Opening Plenary.

    This morning I was reminded of the importance of peers, not only in efforts to end HIV but more broadly, in providing quality sexual health care to all of our patients and in research.

    We were told that science alone cannot end HIV and that while people living with or at risk of acquiring HIV remain marginalised, criminalised or stigmatised we will never end the epidemic.

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  • How do we become a Jack of All Trades?

    A report back on Kate Allardice's session Jack of All Trades – a nursing experience of Hep C treatment outreach work in the TAP study. 

    As nurses working with vulnerable and difficult to engage communities, we are constantly looking for new ways to become a Jack of all trades. Kate and her team’s innovative program is an exemplary example of how we can create new models of care & remove barriers.

    Kate and her team had the innovative idea of setting up a van that is equipped to perform hepatitis C screening, treatment, follow up and monitoring. This allowed them to access those vulnerable people on the streets who were difficult to engage in mainstream health services, particularly IVDUs. By meeting client’s on their terms and in a place that is familiar and comfortable to them, the team were able to remove a significant barrier to care.

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  • Passion and Patience

    A report back on Mim O'flynn's session Towards a cure on the inside. 

    No one could help but be inspired by Mim’s passion for nursing and nurse-led models of care. Returning to the fold, as it were, after many years away from nursing, she displayed an enthusiasm and vigor to the room that was inspiring.  She has achieved outstanding results in just over 12 months providing “in-reach” HCV screening and treatment at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre (AGCC). The AGCC is a privately run, high security remand centre that holds 1187 adult male prisoners waiting for sentencing.

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  • Improving access to services to address the physical health care needs of people engaged with a public mental health AOD services in Melbourne

    A report back on Rebecca Brereton and Bradley Whitto's session Integrating hepatitis C care within community mental health and addiction services

    An innovative model of care between a Nurse Practitioner and Hepatology Nurse. Rebecca Brereton and Bread Whitten are employed by The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Vic. Both nurse specialists who have set up a nurse-led Hep C clinic within the Psychiatry and AOD service. Their aim is to provide access to DAA’s whilst educating the broader Psychiatry/AOD teams and increasing their confidence in prescribing, with a hope to reduce the burden of disease amongst this vulnerable group of people.

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  • Empowering CALD communities affected by Hepatitis B utilising bilingual trained Health workers

    A report back on Marrianne Blacks Hepatitis B and the CALD community: A unique community based nursing model of care utilising Bi-Lingual community health workers.

    Majority of CALD communities in Australia originate from areas with high prevalence of Hep B and majority of them are completely unaware of their Hep B status until their arrival in Australia where the diagnosis is made. After the diagnosis most of them are clueless what it to is and what it means their lives. When they are under perception that it is acquired through sex it can lead to a marriage breakdown, leaving them alienated by families and friends. This is compounded by the failure of GP’s to explain adequately to patients about the disease process, what it means to them, long-term plan management and surveillance that is required when they have the virus. 

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  • Advanced Nursing Care provided by the Alfred Hospital to the S.E. suburban community

    A report back on Rebecca Brereton and Bradley Whitto's session Integrating hepatitis C care within community health and addiction services

    Rebecca and Brad provided an insight into what services they provide at the Alfred Hospital for the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne, from m the point of view of a Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Consultant working with people who have hepatitis C, drug addiction issues and/or diagnosed with a mental health disorder. The aim of the service is to provide a nurse-led model of care, to educate people with hepatitis C, on the new treatment regime, allowing them to feel included and not excluded, due to their mental health and lifestyle choices.  The idea is to minimize the barriers of treatment by allowing everyone who has hepatitis C, no matter what their status is, in having access to affordable accessible treatment and being cured.

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  • Breaking one of the barriers to Hepatitis C treatment – Linking outreach to existing services

    A report back on Gary Keogh’s session Breaking one of the Barriers to Hepatitis C treatment – Linking outreach to existing services.


    Queensland Injectors Health Network (QuIHN) have a successfully set up a network of nurse practitioner/clinical nurse consultants -led community clinics across Queensland targeting vulnerable clients and they are also happy to see anyone that walks in their door.   Their model is not preaching abstinence, but rather a harm reduction model. 


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