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Category Archives: Blog

ASHHNA Annual General Meeting and Breakfast 2017

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Please see attached information regarding the 2017 ASHHNA Annual General Meeting and ASHHNA Executive Committee Nomination Form.

AGM and Nurses Breakfast

ASHHNA invites all nurses (members and non-members) to attend the ASHHNA AGM and Nurses Breakfast which is to be held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra on Wednesday 8th November 2017. Please forward this flyer to any nurses who are attending the Sexual Health or HIV Conference in Canberra this year.

Please RSVP for the AGM Breakfast meeting by Wednesday 25th October 2017 to [email protected] for catering purposes (please advise of any dietary requirements).

ASHHNA Executive Committee

All positions of the ASHHNA Executive Committee are open for nomination at each AGM. We welcome new members on this committee and it is a great way to establish relationships with nursing colleagues from Australia and to contribute to nursing leadership in this specialty area. All current financial members are welcome to nominate for any position. The majority of positions are elected unopposed and member voting is normally not needed.

ASHHNA Executive Committee nominations are due by Friday 27th October 2017 and can be sent to [email protected]

ASHHNA Executive Nomination Form 2017

2017 AGM Flyer


2017 ASHHNA Scholarship Now Open

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The scholarship is named in honour of our friend, colleague and former ASHHNA Vice-President, Carol Martin who passed away in February 2011. Carol was a passionate and skilled clinical nurse and educator who was involved in the education and training of many HIV and sexual and reproductive health nurses and doctors. Carol’s legacy will continue through the inspiration and influence she had on all those who worked with her and knew her.

ASHHNA would like to acknowledge and thank ViiV Healthcare for providing scholarship funding for 2017.

2017 Scholarship Application

ASHHNA Annual General Meeting and Breakfast

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The Australasian Sexual Health Conference for 2016 is fast approaching!

For brief overview of the conference, including costs  – 2016_ashm_sexualhealth_regobrochure_final1

To register visit –


ASHHNA invites all nurses to the AGM and breakfast, featuring guest speaker, Rosalie Altus, Clinical Nurse Consultant and Viral Hepatitis Liaison Nurse, Flinders Medical Centre

For more information – agmandnursesbreakfast2016

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Women’s Health Week: Talking about Fertility in Sexual Health and Reproductive Health

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Do you feel confident in your skills and knowledge on fertility? We know that the fields of sexual health, reproductive health and fertility contain a vast body of different knowledge bases.

Your Fertility is the collaboration of  Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA)Andrology AustraliaJean Hailes for Women’s Health and The Robinson Research Institute.

This coalition of sexual health and reproductive health services focused on five key factors that affect getting pregnant and having a healthy baby: age, smoking, weight, alcohol and, timing of sex and has published updated fact sheets on fertility available for general public.

On their website you will also find links to a series of Jean Hailes accredited continuing professional development modules on fertility, menopause and PCOS

Your Fertility website has some great interviews with experts in the area of sexual and reproductive health and tips on ways to start the conversation on difficult health issues in fertility such as obesity and smoking.

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Positive Caring Handbook

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In 2013, Living Positive Victoria received a grant from the then-Department of Health and Aging under its Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund.

The Positive Caring Handbook is a resource developed as a joint project of Living Positive Victoria and the Royal District Nursing Service Limited (RDNS).

The handbook aims to answer common questions frequently asked by people caring PLHIV, and to provide clear and practical information.

Access the handbook here Positive+Caring+Handbook+-+March+2016


In the lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games let’s take a look at Zika virus…

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What is Zika and what are the symptoms?

Zika is caused by a flavivirus closely related to dengue and chikungunya. Only 1 in 5 people will exhibit symptoms. Zika infection can cause symptoms like fever, rash, severe headache, joint pain, muscle or bone pain. Illness from Zika is usually not severe and does not require hospitalisation. There is now strong scientific consensus that Zika infection is the cause of the majority of cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

How is Zika transmitted?

Transmission can occur via bite from an Aedes mosquito, a blood to blood transfer or sexual contact from an infected male via his semen. Transmission via Aedes mosquito is the most common form of transmission. The Australian Health Department has a regularly updated  list of countries  in which Zika has been confirmed.

Types of Zika transmission

The virus has been known about for some years and the risk of transmission is considered low. There have been hundreds of recorded cases of sexual transmission from male to female and 1 case of male to male in the current epidemic in Central and South America. Sexual transmission of the virus can occur through oral, vaginal or anal sex. It is not known if sexual transmission of Zika can occur from female to male and there has been no evidence of this occurring to date. There have been a number of cases of Zika virus transmission in Brazil and French Polynesia via blood transfusions.

Microcephaly and Zika

The recent epidemics in Central and South America have seen a dramatic increase the number of recorded cases of microcephaly. In the period 2001 and 2014 Brazil had on average, about 163 cases of microcephaly a year (this includes non-Zika related microcephaly). For the year 2016 Brazil has advised that the number of Zika-related microcephaly  cases is stable at 4908. For key facts about Zika virus and pregnancy click here. There is no evidence of Zika virus transmission via breast milk.

What are the Australian recommendations for pregnant women?

The Australian Health Department describes Zika as an evolving situation. Info for clinicians and public health providers can be found here. A useful tool is the interim table for the clinical assessment and screening of asymptomatic pregnant women can be found here.

Sexual contact with a confirmed Zika-positive person or person who has traveled to Zika area

Current CDC guidelines advise abstinence or use of condoms for oral, anal, vaginal sexual contact for up to 6 months after a confirmed symptomatic or asymptomatic infection and abstinence or condoms for 8 weeks post a partner returning an area where there was Zika.


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World Hepatitis Day: A review of the WHO viral hepatitis strategy 2016-2021

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July 28th is World Hepatitis Day.

This year sees the first ever World Health Organization’s Global Strategy for Viral Hepatitis, which sets a goal of eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

Click here to review the draft strategy.

The WHO sets a target to reduce 6-10 million infections to 1 million by 2030. Globally viral hepatitis is on the incline whilst HIV,TB and Malaria are seeing declines.

In Australia, chronic hepatitis B infections sit at around 250,000, with indigenous central Australians being a vulnerable sub-group for viral transmission as well as accessors to vaccination and treatment. Nationally too, our chronic hepatitis C population stubbornly sits at under 250,000 despite highly successful needle exchange programs, the good news for this cohort is that new oral treatments for hepatitis C appear to be well-tolerated and require a shorter course than interferon-based treatments and have cure rates of 90%. Comparatively, hepatitis B treatments are available but need to be lifelong for most people.

In summary the strategy sets 5 key areas of work over the period 2016-2030: vaccination, prevention of mother to child transmission, blood safe practices, harm reduction in IDU populations and treatments to achieving 1 million infections by 2030.

For access to further info on viral hepatitis consider continuing professional development courses via ASHM, sign up for nursing membership at Australian Hepatology Association, of particular clinical use is a free download copy of AHA consensus-based nursing guidelines for the management of viral hepatitis and don’t forget to Love your Liver!



2016 Conferences in HIV and Hepatitis

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News updates from ASHM

UNSW: Social Research Conference on HIV, Viral Hepatitis & Related Diseases
31 March-1 April 2016
margins & belonging: marginalised people building community
Stigmatised sexual and drug practices, and their associated infections and illnesses, produce specific forms of marginalisation for affected individuals and groups. But people in affected groups also forge a sense of belonging and community membership in a range of ways within broader society and within their affected communities. Earlybird Registration closes 1st Feb. Conference Website

INHSU: The 5th International Symposium on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users
7-9 September 2016

This leading International conference is focused on the management of hepatitis among substance users. It is now an annual symposium to keep pace with rapid development of new therapies and exciting new research on HCV care among people who inject drugs. Stay up-to-date with conference news by joining the mailing list

APSAD 2016
30 Oct-2 Nov 2016

The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs are pleased to invite you to Sydney for the APSAD 2016 Conference, which will feature an exciting program of international and national speakers. The Conference program will explore the individual, cultural, political, social and other contexts critical to effective prevention and treatment, through poster presentations, symposia, keynotes and concurrent sessions.

The Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference
29 Sep-01 Oct 2016¬¬

This is the most important year in Australasian viral hepatitis and there will never be a moment like this in our field again – exciting times for patients, carers and professionals alike. The multi-disciplinary nature of the conference ensures that all in the sector will gain valuable information and networking opportunities from attending. Andrew Hill from the University of Liverpool, UK has confirmed as a keynote speaker. More will be advised soon. Sign up for the newsletter.

Australasian Sexual Health Conference
14-16 November 2016

It’s time to turn everything you know about Sexual Health on its head and ‘Rethink Sexual Health’
Speakers confirmed:
Associate Professor Amber D’Souza, John Hopkins University, USA
Professor Mark Hayter, Hull University, UK
Associate Professor Rebecca Guy, The Kirby Institute, Australia
Associate Professor Marion Saville, Executive Director of VCS Incorporated, Australia
For updates, Sign up to the newsletter
Visit the website

Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference 2016
16-18 November 2016

Reposition your thinking, reflect on your practice and reignite your passion at the Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference 2016 (27th Annual ASHM Conference).
Speaker confirmed: The conference organisers are pleased to announce that Professor Sheena McCormack, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology Imperial College London (ICL) will be presenting. More speakers to be confirmed in March. Sign up to the newsletter