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September 2019 — Conference Season

The Australasian Sexual Health Conference and the Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference are almost upon us. Sexual health will be the talk of the town in Perth from the 16th – 19th of September 2019. These conferences are a celebrated mechanism of the partnerships so valued by and unique to the sexual health and HIV sectors, and we're really excited to bring these forums to Western Australia. The conferences will debut new areas of research, new campaigns and new perspectives. Each presenter will detail innovative ideas, the use of empowering methodologies, effective educational technologies or ways to engage key populations authentically and meaningfully. 

Long standing social trends, cultural ideas and behaviors are changing at an increasingly fast pace, and we’re now seeing this impact on all areas of sexual health. We need to reimagine how we offer services, ask for data and educate our peers. T
his hit home recently with the release of the 2018 Kirby Surveillance report which noted that while new HIV diagnosis rates were falling, some populations were still at risk. In particular, the data shows no decline in HIV notifications in people who acquired HIV from heterosexual sex, which increased in 2017. The report concludes: “These individuals are still more likely to be diagnosed late, indicating the importance of initiatives to raise awareness about HIV testing."

The sector is already investigating how to raise our collective awareness about who should be offered what sexual health tests, where they're offered testing, how they're accessing treatment, and starting to debunk our own assumptions about patient behaviour, lifestyle or risk taking. The joint Sexual Health and HIV & AIDS Conferences offer a unique opportunity for sharing new insights, building support and finding emerging practices that can respond to these shifting norms.

HIV and sexually transmissible infections disproportionately affect the world’s most disadvantaged communities. ASHM would like to recognise the essential role of community members and organisations in guiding the work of policy makers, researchers and clinicians. We have worked to include community representatives from the very earliest stages of conference program development through to implementation, and are proud to offer such a diverse program.

We hope to see as many of our workforces and community members in Perth as possible—to celebrate the history of our partnerships, to share hard won victories, and to prepare for the future of sexual health throughout our region.

See the program here or
register here today!




Guidelines Update: The PrEP Prescribing Guidelines, ARV CommentaryHIV Management Guidelines and our HIV and The Law website have been thoroughly updated to meet current best practice, and will soon be finalised and relaunched with a new look and feel. 

We would like to take this oppurtunity to sincerely thank all the committee members, clinical advisors, our project officers, organisations and individuals who have contributed their time and expertise to ensuring these heavily used, yet chronically underfunded tools, are kept accurate and accessible for our health professionals. 

Newly Revised HCV Decision Making Tools: The newly designed tools are simplified with up to date clinical information from the Australian Recommendations for the Management of Hepatitis C Virus Infection. The tools are designed for practitioners testing and treating people living with hepatitis C, and tested to ensure they are relevant for a range of settings:
Decision Making In Hepatitis C
HCV New Treatments Reference Tool

Viral Hepatitis Nurse led Models of Care Forum: Sixty nurses from Australia and New Zealand came together the day before the AVHEC19 conference, to share knowledge and discover new ways of working. The program explored the theme of Innovation, Agility and Velocity Towards Elimination with a dynamic variety of talks, workshops, oral and poster presentations. See more here.

Viral Hepatitis GP Forum: In August, fifty General Practitioners from around Australia gathered to share their experiences, their insights and to workshop strategies for eliminating hepatitis C in their settings and their communities. Presentations were wide-ranging, and captured an impressive variety of experiences and view-points. See more on the day and the report backs here.

Trained Community Medical Practitioners and Nurse Practitioners Referral: Since the 1st of June 2017, all authorized Nurse Practitioners have been eligible to prescribe HCV medications under the General Schedule.

Nurse Practitioners who complete all components of an ASHM one day face-to-face HCV training are eligible to join the list of
Community Medical Practitioners and Nurse Practitioners trained in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection

Please contact if you wish to be included on the list as either a Medical or Nurse Practitioner Prescriber.

2019 International HBV Meeting: For the very first time, the international meeting on the molecular biology of HBV will be held  in Australia, 1 – 5 October, 2019 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. There will also be a Public Forum on HBV, to share the latest advances in HBV research with the HBV affected community, and a Satellite Symposium on HBV Cure with pharma and researchers.

Hepatitis C in Primary Care and Drug and Alcohol Settings Education Program Interim Evaluation: Feedback on the program has been excellent, with an increase of over 100% for each competency from pre- to post-workshop. Full evaluation will be conducted upon a 6 month follow up to ascertain how knowledge and confidence have translated into practice, and inform future program design.


We’ve seen marginalized and healthcare communities join forces to make sure people have choices and care is delivered in ways that work. The Board is certainly comfortable with partnerships in advocacy, whereas other sectors might find this quite unusual. The ASHM conferences, in particular, are a great example of the sector’s unique ability to come together.

Nick Medland, ASHM Vice President, 2019    


ASHM Office

We welcome Karen Salter to ASHM International. Karen has started with us 2 days a week as a senior project officer, with a background in public health and sexual and reproductive health programs and campaigns. Prior to coming on board Karen was working in Timor-Leste for four years while with Marie Stopes International and UNICEF. On top of this she has recently started a Masters of  Health Communication at The University of Sydney. Welcome Karen!


ASHM Conferences

Save The Date: 16 – 18 August 2020, Brisbane
The Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference

Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference
16-18 August 2020 | Brisbane QLD

  • Save The Date

Australasian Sexual Health Conference
16-18 September 2019 | Perth WA

Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference
17-19 September 2019 | Perth WA

#SH19 & #HIVAUS19 Program Highlight: Our Region

The PNG and Timor-Leste NAPWHA Symposium will cover some of the key issues and successes in our region today, as well as looking at current and long running initiatives:

  • Dr John Rule Senior Research Manager NAPWHA
  • Fiona Palmer The CHPNG as a Collaborative Model
  • Alfred Marks Program Manager Igat Hope, Representing Community - PNG
  • Innes Lopez Executive Officer Estrela Plus, Representing Community - Timor-Leste
  • Nick Dala Clinical Perspectives – PNG
  • Dr Arun Menon Clinical Director Townsville Sexual Health Service, Clinical Mentoring Models