Community-based sexual health care works: a review of the ACT outreach program.
ABSTRACT Men who have sex with men, sex workers, youth and university students are at increased risk for sexually transmissible infections (STI) and blood-borne viruses (BBV) and are therefore targets for sexual health services. In recognition of this, a collaborative project offering sexual health care in various outreach settings frequented by these groups was developed.
Data collected by clinicians during consultations in five outreach venues (a sex-on-premises venue, a community AIDS organisation, a university campus, brothels and a youth centre) between 2002 and 2005 were analysed.
During 119 clinics (~547 clinician hours), 313 individuals (205 males and 108 females) received education and/or testing. Of those screened, 6.0% (15/249) were positive for chlamydia and 12.7% (9/71) tested positive for hepatitis C (HCV) antibodies. No new cases of hepatitis B (HBV) or HIV were identified and 37.2% (71/191) of patients reported never having been previously tested for HIV. Seroprevalence of hepatitis A and HBV antibodies were 53.8% (91/169) and 52.1% (135/259), respectively. More than half of all four groups reported inconsistent use of condoms and 8.6% reported intravenous drug use.
Collaborations between agencies to provide outreach services facilitate community-based sexual health education and screening for groups at higher risk of STI and BBV. The database audit showed that through these outreach services cases of chlamydia and HCV that may have remained undetected were identified. The results also highlight the need for continuing hepatitis vaccination, testing, health promotion and education in these populations.
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ABSTRACT: Anogenital warts are a common initial presentation to the Canberra Sexual Health Centre. It is anticipated that the introduction of human papillomavirus vaccination will reduce the incidence of anogenital warts. The present study determines the prevalence of other sexually transmissible infections in patients newly diagnosed with warts who may not have presented for screening without the impetus of a genital lump. The prevalence of other sexually transmissible infections in new patients presenting to the Canberra Sexual Health Centre diagnosed with anogenital warts was determined from a retrospective clinical audit from 2002 to 2007. A total of 1015 new patients were diagnosed with anogenital warts. Of this total cohort, 53 (5.2%) were found to be co-infected with either chlamydia and/or gonorrhoea. Only 13.2% of co-infected patients reported symptoms other than genital lumps. Of co-infected patients 11.3% reported contact with a partner with chlamydia and/or gonorrhoea. Not all patients were screened for other sexually transmissible infections: 762 (75.1%) were screened for chlamydia and 576 (56.7%) were screened for gonorrhoea. Of those tested, 6.8% of men and 6.9% of women were positive for chlamydia highlighting the importance of offering full sexually transmissible infection screening in those newly diagnosed with anogenital warts. Chlamydia was more common in younger patients who reported a higher number of sexual partners. It is anticipated that human papillomavirus vaccination will lead to a decline in anogenital wart incidence as well as other human papillomavirus associated disease. Although one opportunity for testing for other sexually transmissible infections may be lost in this population, the decrease in anogenital warts will leave clinicians with more time to pursue other screening programs. Education and screening campaigns should continue to focus on the asymptomatic nature of the majority of sexually transmissible infections.Sexual Health 03/2010; 7(1):55-9. · 1.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Community HIV testing represents an opportunity for diagnosing HIV infection among individuals who may not have contact with health services, especially in hard-to-reach groups. The aim of this review was to assess the evidence for feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of HIV testing strategies in community settings in resource-rich countries. The PubMed database was searched for English language studies of outreach HIV testing in resource-rich countries. Studies were included if they reported one of the following outcome measures: uptake of testing; seropositivity; client acceptability; or provider acceptability. Forty-four studies were identified; the majority took place in the USA and targeted men who have sex with men. Uptake of HIV testing varied between 9 and 95% (in 14 studies). Seropositivity was ≥ 1% in 30 of 34 studies. In 16 studies the proportion of patients who received their test results varied from 29 to 100% and rapid testing resulted in a higher proportion of clients receiving their results. Overall, client satisfaction with community HIV testing was high. However, concern remained over confidentiality, professional standards and the need for post-test counselling. Staff reported positive attitudes towards community testing. In the majority of studies, the reported seropositivity was higher than 1/1000, the threshold deemed to be cost-effective for routinely offering testing. Rapid testing improved the return of HIV test results to clients. HIV testing in outreach settings may be important in identifying undiagnosed infections in at-risk populations, but appropriate data to evaluate these initiatives must be collected.HIV Medicine 03/2012; 13(7):416-26. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Australia is an apt landscape upon which to measure the success of mandatory testing of HIV and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) among sex workers. Mandatory testing is implemented in some Australian jurisdictions and not others, allowing for a comprehensive comparison of the outcomes. It is apparent that mandatory testing of HIV and STIs among sex workers in Australia has proven to be a barrier to otherwise successful HIV and STI peer education, preven-tion and free and anonymous testing and treatment. The outcomes of mandatory testing are counterproductive to reduc-ing HIV and STI rates, do not reach the intended target group, are costly and inefficient, and mandatory testing has proven to be a very difficult policy to repeal once in place. Scarlet Alliance, the Australian Sex Workers Association, as well as numerous academics and policy leaders in Australia recommend against mandatory testing of HIV and STIs among sex workers.World Journal of AIDS 01/2012; 2(3):203-211.