Brief description

  • ASHM has initiated a program to support progress in understanding and responding to HTLV-1 in Australia.
  • HTLV-1, or human T-lymphotropic virus type 1, shares some features of HIV, in that it is a retrovirus that causes a chronic infection, is transmitted by sex, blood contact and from mother to child, and causes damage to the immune system. However, unlike HIV it causes a much more diffuse range of disease, severe in some people and mild or even non-existent in many others with the infection. Its distribution around the world is highly focal, with very high prevalences in particular geographic locations and populations and very rare elsewhere. HTLV-1 is present at very high rates in some Aboriginal communities of central and northern Australia.
  • Research over the past 5 years has led to an increasing awareness in Australia of HTLV-1 and its impact. A group of clinicians and researchers have come together with a representative of from central Australian Aboriginal communities to provide a forum for increasing awareness about HTLV-1, and guiding clinical, public health and community responses to the infection.
  • With these goals, an initial round table meeting was held in conjunction with the Australasian HIV and AIDS Conference (ASHM) in Adelaide in November 2015. A working group was establish to take forward outcomes from the meeting.


Working group

  • Dr Damian Purcell
  • Mr Ricky Mentha
  • Prof John Kaldor
  • Dr Kath Fethers
  • Dr Lloyd Einsiedel 

Round Table

  • Agenda [information coming]
  • Report back [information coming]
  • Presentations from the roundtable [information coming]
  • Background document and participants [information coming]



  • A proposal has been developed for the Commonwealth, requesting seeding support
  • Another forum on HTLV-1 took place at the 2017 Australasian HIV and AIDS Conference in Canberra
  • The working group is pursuing philanthropic funding, in collaboration with central Australian partners


Published articles and reports


Presentations and webinars

  • [information coming]


Future events

  • [information coming]


To contact the working group

Please feel free to submit papers and reports to the working group, for consideration for uploading