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Delivery of quality BBV and STI workforce development programs aim to strengthen capacity of health services in Far North Queensland

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HIV; Co-infection; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; STI |
Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Health Worker; Allied Health |
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Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Peoples; People Living With BBV; MSM |
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Held in Cairns on 18-19 June 2016, ASHM delivered its inaugural HIV s100 Prescriber course – the first delivered by ASHM in Queensland, and a significant milestone in being the first HIV s100 Prescriber course in Far North Queensland.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​HIV s100 Prescriber Course Cairns.jpg 

To express your interest in attending any of ASHM training courses being delivered in Queensland
state-wide in 2016-17, please do not hesitate to contact the 
ASHM Queensland team directly.


Throughout 2016-17, ASHM continues its delivery of quality HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health services and workforce development programs in Queensland – targeting Blood Borne Viruses (including HIV and hepatitis B and C) and Sexually Transmissible Infections.


Held in Cairns on 18-19 June 2016, ASHM delivered its inaugural HIV s100 Prescriber course (pictured) – the two-day training for tertiary consultants and general practitioners to become accredited in prescribing antiretroviral therapy (ART) and maintain their continuing professional development (CPD) ​in HIV.  This was the first delivered by ASHM in Queensland, and a significant milestone in being the first HIV s100 Prescriber course in many years to be held outside the city of Brisbane.

In response to the ongoing outbreak of syphilis notifications (and potential HIV co-infection) among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living largely in remote and rural areas of northern Australia, this course was also a crucial step towards increasing and strengthening the HIV workforce in Far North Queensland. With the outbreak first reported in January 2011 in northwest Queensland, a Multijurisdictional Syphilis Outbreak Working Group (MJSO) was later formed by the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia (CDNA) in April 2015, who provide periodic epidemiological data tracking the outbreak. ASHM aims to support and address training needs specific to health professional working in this region and to create greater connectivity between sexual health services in the area.

Attended by twenty-one health professionals from Cairns and surrounding areas, including Cooktown and Innisfail, the diversity of participants to the HIV s100 Prescriber course made for informed and lively discussions that were facilitated by an expert group of local presenters and facilitators. Course attendees comprised of general practitioners, sexual health pharmacists and HIV Access and Support Officers – whose clinical settings ranged from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services, general practice, sexual health service and public hospital settings.

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In focus of Far North Queensland, ASHM delivered Preparing Patients for Interferon-free Treatment for Hepatitis C in Drug and Alcohol Settings  – a half-day training course held in Cairns on the 27 June as part of LiverLife week, with 50 health professionals attending. Speakers from Queensland Positive Speakers Bureau, the Kirby Institute and Cairns Community Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Service presented on new treatments available for hepatitis C.

An additional forthcoming training opportunity, again held in Cairns, is the Hepatitis B s100 Prescriber on 27 August. This 1-day course will accredit GPs to prescribe treatments for hepatitis B in a community setting. This is the first time this program has been run in Queensland, and represents an exciting opportunity for interested medical professionals to become more involved in the treatment and management of hepatitis B.

From 25 July to 5 August, ASHM will represent alongside HIV Foundation Queensland in their facilitation of the Queensland HIV Treatment as Prevention Roadshow 2016: A new era of HIV prevention and treatment. This roadshow will include a series of accredited dinner meetings in eight locations across the state providing a unique opportunity for people to be updated on state, national and international policy and clinical developments in this rapidly evolving landscape of HIV treatment as prevention (TasP): early treatment; post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP); and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

In each area, local HIV/sexual health or infectious disease clinicians will be engaged to open and address the meetings occurring in Brisbane (25 July), Gold Coast (26 July), Toowoomba (27 July), Sunshine Coast (28 July), Cairns (1 August), Townsville (2 August), Rockhampton​ (3 August), Bundaberg (4 August). Engagement with local MP’s and Executive Management of all Hospital and Health Services (HHS) will also be harnessed. Public relations (PR) activities will support all visits.


In October, ASHM will facilitate the organisation of The Deadly Sex Congress – an annual forum since 2003 that brings together Queensland Health, workers from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO), and others working in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sexual health/blood born viruses in other NGOs. The forum forms for the purposes of training, skill development, networking, partnership development and enhancement of service delivery. This is the first year that ASHM has facilitated the organisation of the event working with QAIHC, 2 Spirits, True, Queensland Health and representatives from ACCHOs across the state, to design an exciting and innovative program that meets the needs of all the participants. 


For interested person/s wishing to enquire on any of the activity mentioned here and/or express their interest to attend any of ASHM training courses being delivered in Queensland state-wide in 2016-17, please do not hesitate to contact the ASHM Queensland team directly.

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