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ASHA sexual health quarterly newsletter
Welcome to the April, 2015 edition of the ASHA Quarterly Sexual Health Newsletter!
This 3-monthly newsletter provides a consolidated update on the latest sexual health events, training, research and opportunities. Please send comments or requests to asha@ashm.org.au. For more information about ASHA go to www.sexualhealthalliance.org.au

ASHA News

Submission regarding Human Right's Commission 'Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Intersex Rights Snapshot Report'
ASHA - 13th February 2015
ASHA wrote a submission to the Australian Human Right's commission regarding the 'Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Intersex Rights Snapshot Report' Consultation. Full submission available here.

ASHA Social Event - save the date!
14 September 2015, 6pm-8pm
You are all warmly invited to attend the ASHA evening social event at the World STI & HIV Congress on Monday 14 September 2015 from 6pm-8pm. It will be a great opportunity to mix and mingle with ASHA colleagues across our varied disciplines. Stay tuned for more information!

Update on Australian STI Management Guidelines for Use in Primary Care
ASHA have continued to promote the Australian STI Management Guidelines for Use in Primary Care, which were developed by ASHM under the aegis of ASHA. The Guidelines are now recognised as an Accepted Clinical Resource by the RACGP.

Widespread promotion has been reflected in the usage, with:
  • an average of 150 visits to the site per day
  • almost half of those accessing the site being returning visitors
  • the home page, chlamydia and gonorrhoea guidelines the most visited
  • the majority of individuals accessing the site from Australia, but visitors are from a wide range of countries, including from the USA, UK, NZ, India, UAE, Canada, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
ASHM and ASHA encourage feedback on the Guidelines via feedback@sti.guidelines.org.au.

World STI & HIV Congress

Register now!
Early Bird deadline: Monday 6 July 2015
Registration deadline: Monday 31 August 2015
Further discounted rates are available to IUSTI members, with membership of IUSTI at only 40 euros for 2 years from the date that you join. Find out more about IUSTI membership here. For evolving information on the World STI&HIV Congress, please go to the Congress website or contact conference@ashm.org.au.

Training & Events

RACP Congress 2015 - Breaking Boundaries Creating Connections
24-27 May 2015: Cairns, QLD
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Congress will include a diverse program of workshops, sessions, exhibits and social functions. Building on the past theme of Future Directions in Health, the Congress will move to reinvigorate and challenge delegates to ‘break boundaries and create connections’, making RACP Congress 2015 an event not to missed.
Australia & New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society & Australasian Menopause Society Workshops
14-15 August 2015: Alice Springs, NT
Clinicians with an interest in women’s health, particularly vulvovaginal disease, sexual health and menopause are invited to attend the Clinical Update Meeting, Sexual Health Workshop and AMS Menopause Workshop in Alice Springs 14-15 August 2015. Delegates can register either for the full two day program or for single workshops.
ASHM Courses
Upcoming ASHM training - to register for a course go to www.ashm.org.au/training

Sector News

The Bottom Line: Gap Men, HPV and anal Cancer
NEW website intended as a resource for gay and other men who have sex with men. Gay men (and particularly HIV-positive gay men) are at a greater risk of developing some HPV-related cancers, compared to the general population. Go to the website to learn more!

Depot MedroxyProgesterone Acetate (DMPA, Depoprovera) and Risk of HIV Acquisition
UK Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare - January, 2015
Statement from the Clinical Effectiveness Unit regarding DMPA use and HIV Acquisition. Recent data may indicate a slightly increased risk.

Impact of Smoking on Life Expectancy in HIV Infection
The Body Pro - January 2015
Smoking may double the risk of mortality for HIV positive people according to results from a large collaborative HIV cohort study of people who have been on ART for more than one year.

Aboriginal Hepatitis C rising, prompting calls for improved services
The Guardian Australia - 22nd January 2015
Mainstream medical services are failing Aboriginal communities, where the rate of Hepatitis C is rising, a peak Aboriginal health body has told a federal Senate inquiry.

Warning over syphilis outbreak in Central Australia
ABC - 2nd February 2015
Doctors have been notified after an outbreak of syphilis in several remote communities in Central Australia and the Northern Territory. The memo asked doctors to offer syphilis testing to all sexually active people aged under 35.

Schools at odds with parents over HIV information obligation
The New Zealand Herald - 9th February 2015
In New Zealand, parents of children with HIV are at odds with schools over school policies insisting that they disclose their HIV status, despite  against the law to require families to disclose a child’s status.

Cartoon aims to show dangers of syphilis
Gay News Network - 9th February 2015
With syphilis on the increase amongst gay men, the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) has joined up with a local Australian animator, Michael Cusack, to release Wayne & Kevin, a hilarious animated short that encourages men who have sex with men to be informed about STIs and get tested regularly.

Is embarrassment making you miss the point?
Australian Doctor - 11th February 2015
Recent article asks GPs: is embarrassment stopping you from offering a full sexual health screening to your gay clients?

GPs win 'overdue' access to hep B drugs
Australian Rural Doctor - 13th February 2015
An imminent move to allow GPs to prescribe antiviral drugs for hepatitis B will be a major step towards tackling diagnosis and treatment gaps, according to A/Prof Ben Cowie, Infectious Diseases Physician and Epidemiologist at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory.

Rise in HIV cases
The Fiji Times Online - 13th February 2015
The number of HIV cases in the country is slowly increasing in Fiji, according to President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, the HIV ambassador for Fiji.

Daily Antibiotic May Work as PrEP Against STIs Other Than HIV
AIDSmeds - 14th February 2015
A daily dose of the antibiotic doxycycline may be effective as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) against gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis, aidsmeds reports.

HIV drugs trial causes controversy
Digital Journal - 16th February 2015
A failed clinical trial in Africa has raised questions about how to test HIV drugs and has posed some serious issues related to medical ethics.

Home HIV tests closer
MJA Insight - 9th March 2015
Australian experts support the push to make HIV testing available at home through a new oral test, despite evidence that rapid HIV tests are less reliable than conventional serology.

Global Strategy for HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs (2016-2021)
WHO - March 2015
As the world looks to 2030 and prepares to meet the challenges of an ambitious set of Sustainable Development Goals, the WHO is developing three related global health sector strategies: HIV; viral hepatitis; and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Have your say on the strategy here. The deadline for responses is 30 April 2015.

Paediatricians should do more to address male adolescent sexual health
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health - March 2015
Adolescent males are missing out on the opportunity to discuss sexual health in paediatric consults.

About ASHA

The Australasian Sexual Health Alliance (ASHA) is a group of organisations with an interest in sexual health, formed to facilitate multidisciplinary collaborations to support the Australasian sexual health workforce. ASHA works to improve national and local responses to sexual health issues, via a multidisciplinary support network and aims to strengthen bonds between specialists, GPs, nurses, researchers and other key contributors to the sexual health sector, through collaboration in sexual health education, training, policy-making and research.

ASHA is a committee formed under s51 of the constitution of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM). ASHM provides much of ASHA’s infrastructure including the provision of secretariat, technical support, annual conference facilitation, and funding support. The committee of ASHA provides the guidance upon which ASHM acts in relation to policy, educational and resource based support for the sexual health workforce. For more information on the formation and governance of ASHA please see the Establishment Document.

Partner Organisations

ASHA Partner Organisations
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