NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant has announced on June 10 the release of a suite of resources to reinforce the HIV Support Program (HSP), a program that commenced in May 2013 and involves HIV experts offering tailored support to doctors when they make a new HIV diagnosis.
By supporting diagnosing doctors, the HSP aims to ensure that any person newly diagnosed with HIV in NSW is provided 5 Key Support Services:
1. Effective clinical management including access to treatment
2. Psychosocial support
3. Counselling about prevention of transmission of HIV to others, including the role of treatment in reducing the risk of transmission
4. Support to ensure that all at risk contacts or partners are identified and tested for HIV
5. Linkage to relevant specialist, community and peer support services
The HSP offers doctors guidance on giving the diagnosis, initiating the provision of the 5 Key Support Services, resources, links to specialist and peer services and ongoing professional support. The new resource package was developed in consultation with expert stakeholders across NSW. All resources were focus tested with end users and underwent several rounds of consultations.
It is intended that the resources will be used by doctors and people newly diagnosed with HIV, as well as utilised for training purposes.
Doctors requiring any further information can contact the Communicable Diseases Branch, Health Protection NSW on (02) 9391 9195 and ask to speak to the HIV epidemiologist or surveillance officer.