The Testing Policies are for health professionals ordering HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B tests and receiving, interpreting and delivering results to patients. They set out a framework for providing quality testing and removing real and perceived barriers to testing.
The web-based provision of the policies allows for regular revision and access to related resources with download and print functions. You can find the portal here.
HIV testing policy
Quote from Associate Professor Philip Cunningham, chair National HIV testing policy
As Co-Chair of the National HIV Expert Reference Committee I am pleased to launch the revised National HIV Testing Policy. With the countdown to achieving virtual elimination targets for HIV, viral hepatitis and STI transmission on both national and international scale by 2030, this policy expands options for HIV and STI testing by making it accessible, more convenient and faster to have a test. The revision is in line with the Eighth National HIV Strategy and supports options for home (self- testing), rapid community-based HIV testing and testing in the era of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Quote from Mr Phillip Keen, chair National HIV testing policy
In recent years Australia has seen the success of HIV prevention programs through declines in HIV diagnoses among people with evidence of recent infection, but the number of people diagnosed late with HIV, when HIV has begun to damage those people's immune systems, has risen. Many people who are diagnosed late have had many missed clinical opportunities for HIV diagnosis, where they had presented for medical care with symptoms caused by HIV infection. This revision of Australia's National HIV Testing Policy provides clearer guidance to healthcare workers regarding HIV indicator conditions, with the aim to achieve earlier diagnosis among people with undiagnosed HIV, and support clinicians in offering HIV testing.
Hepatitis B testing policy
Quote from Scott Bowden, Chair Hepatitis B testing policy
On behalf of the Hepatitis B Testing Policy Expert Reference Committee, it is with great pleasure that I present the latest revision of the Policy. Currently, it is estimated that around 30% of people living with hepatitis B in Australia remain undiagnosed and this has hampered our efforts to increase the number of people being monitored and treated. To help achieve the short term targets of the Third National Hepatitis B Strategy of having 80% of people living with hepatitis B diagnosed by 2022, this Policy presents easy to use links with updated evidence-based testing pathways and describes the priority populations to be tested.
Hepatitis C testing policy
Quote from Professor Robert Batey, Chair, Hepatitis C Testing Policy Expert Reference Committee:
It is a pleasure to see the release of the Revised Hepatitis C Testing Policy which will aid all Health Care professionals in the ongoing process of reducing the harms of HCV in our communities. The success of the newest treatments for HCV has been remarkable but there is still work to do in identifying those who can still benefit from treatment. The new Policy adds an Executive Summary highlighting the key points and changes included in the Policy. The ability to obtain an on-site result in a single visit using a newly approved point-of-care HCV RNA test will help to facilitate more people being diagnosed with HCV infection and link them directly to care.