Wednesday , May 5 2021

It's no longer a death penalty: Australia is making progress in diagnosing and managing HIV


It's no longer a death penalty: Australia is making progress in diagnosing and managing HIV

Prior to World AIDS Day, newsGP talked to an expert on sexual health about progress in the fight against HIV.

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World Aids Day aims to raise awareness and community support for those with HIV and AIDS.

The World AIDS Day is being held on December 1st each year to raise the awareness of the community on HIV and AIDS and to show support for people living with HIV.

The introduction of the Pre-Exposure Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PAP) of the PBS earlier this year helped Australia become one of the first countries in the world to stop the transmission of HIV.

In addition, as part of its commitment to end the transmission of HIV, the Federal Government announced funding for the first self-test kit for HIV, the Atomo Self Test – a single-use antibodies test for a quick finger.

Government funding for the fifth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait of Blood Bank Virus and Strategies for Sexually Transmitted Infections are also underway to support the closure of the gap between Aboriginal people and residents of the Torres Strait Islander and the results of the state of health who are not indigenous Australians.

Speaking at the House of Parliament this week, Labor Senator Penny Wong said Australia is leading the fight against HIV and AIDS.

"As a result of the excellent work of governments, health professionals and many others working with the LGBTIQ community … we are now living in an era where HIV is no longer a death sentence, and we can dare to hope for its elimination, Senator Wong said .

"The diagnosis and treatment should be supported by community education if progress needs to be made.

"Australia has succeeded because we continued on the basis of inclusion, without a judgment, and we also looked at prejudice and discrimination on the road."

About sexual health doctor Dr. Vincent Cornelis for newsGP that the introduction of PrEP is a "game changer", with Australia seeing very rapid penetration of the drug.

"We prescribe PrEP [at my clinic] from 2014, initially as part of clinical trials, and now as a routine concern for people at risk of HIV, "says Dr. Cornelles.

"Since then, we have seen a massive reduction in diagnoses of HIV.

"PrEP also provided an incentive for people to engage with GP on a regular basis and for many people it resulted in other health benefits, such as access to mental health, vaccinations, interruption of smoking, improved cardiovascular risk, and regular screening of sexual health. "

PrEP-hero.jpg "src =" "style =" width: 760px; height: ";" title = "PrEP-hero.jpg" /><small><em>The introduction of PrEP has seen a significant reduction in the diagnosis of HIV in Australia.</em></small></p>
<p>Engaging physicians can also contribute to reducing the number of delayed diagnoses, offering HIV testing to anyone who may be at risk, practice Dr. Cornelisse believes is not being monitored enough.</p>
<p>"Many people at risk of HIV do not attend specialized sexual health services, and many of these people may not realize they are at risk of HIV," he said.</p>
<p>"This means they are often diagnosed late, and hence are more likely to develop HIV-related health issues, such as opportunistic infections and cancer."</p>
<p>Dr. Cornelisse identifies the importance of doctors asking routine questions about HIV risk factors for all their patients by taking a sexual history. Risk factors include male sex, male sex in high risk countries, a history of sexually transmitted infections, and the use of intravenous drugs.</p>
<p>There are two major biomedical approaches that doctors can use to prevent and manage HIV that help doctors play an important role in public health, according to Dr. Cornelles.</p>
<p>"One is PrP – drugs from people who do not have HIV to protect themselves," he said.</p>
<p>"The other is treatment as a prevention [TasP], on the other side of this coin – people diagnosed with HIV who are on HIV treatment and totally suppressed the viral load, can not transmit HIV to their sexual partners, "said Dr. Cornelles.</p>
<p>"In order to make TasP an effective public health strategy, doctors should try to diagnose all those who have HIV to be able to offer treatment and prevent further transmission.</p>
<p>"So, the effectiveness of this strategy depends on people who are tested for HIV".</p>
<p>Routine HIV screening and biomedical advances such as PrEP and TasP have proved valuable for successful progress in reducing and managing HIV diagnoses. Only this year, Queensland has a de-listing of AIDS as a disease that can be reported, new cases of HIV in Victoria have been reduced by 22%, and new cases of HIV in Western Australia are at a low level of 10 years.</p>
<p>However, Dr Cornelisse believes that we still have a way to go.</p>
<p>"[Despite] a significant decline in the diagnosis of HIV in certain parts of the community, there is currently a risk that some people in Australia will remain behind in this PREP revolution, "he said.</p>
<p>Among those who are "stale" are people without Medicare cards, who often find it difficult to access PrEP and, according to Dr. Cornelisse, there has been a recent increase in HIV diagnoses among young homosexuals born abroad.</p>
<p>"There has also been an increase in HIV diagnoses in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations compared to non-native Australians, and there is still very low awareness of the PROP in the general community in Australia, with increasing diagnosis of HIV among heterosexuals in Australia, "he said.</p>
<p>These disparities emphasize that general practitioners can play a very important role in this area by identifying which of their patients are at risk of HIV by offering HIV testing and offering PROP.</p>
<p>"If we want to remove the transmission of HIV, we need to find a way similarly to engage with those parts of the Australian community that are not currently accessing HIV testing, and the SRP-GP is perfectly positioned to help encourage such an engagement" .</p>
<p>Dr. Cornelisse believes that the patient-doctor relationship is an instrument for achieving the goal of eliminating HIV in Australia.</p>
<p>"HIV rates are rapidly declining among Australian men who have sex with men, and we should celebrate this as a success achieved through close collaboration between doctors, health services and, most importantly, the gay community," he said.</p>
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