The Australian Health Ministers’ Conference endorsed five national strategies for blood borne viruses (BBVs) and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in 2010. These documents guide policies in relation to the prevention, testing, treatment and more in relation to BBVs and STIs and were developed in partnership with community stakeholders, research organisations, medical professionals and state and territory health departments. The five strategies are:
Surveillance and Monitoring Plan
New Prevention Programme for Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections
The Australian Government is investing in a four-year, $22.45 million prevention programme to help address increasing rates of sexual transmissible infections (STIs) and blood borne viruses (BBVs) including HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
The programme targets priority populations including gay and bisexual men, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse Australians, young people, people in rural and regional areas, and people who inject drugs.
The Government’s programme comprises the following initiatives:
- $7.2 million to reduce high rates of STIs among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander priority populations, particularly in regional and remote settings.
- $1 million for point of care demonstration testing projects to increase the HIV testing rate by offering tests which provide rapid results.
- $5.1 million for needle and syringe programmes, particularly in rural and regional areas.
- $4.6 million to increase uptake of testing and treatment for hepatitis B among priority populations.
The programme will also provide $4.5 million to support the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne in July 2014, including the participation of priority populations at the conference and the development of the new national strategies for BBVs and STIs. This funding also supports the International Indigenous Pre-Conference on HIV & AIDS.
New National BBVs and STIs Strategies 2014-2017
The Department of Health is leading the drafting of the five new National Blood Borne Virus and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategies 2014-2017. The department is grateful to all contributors for their submissions to date and is working to capture this input into the strategies.
The National BBV & STI Strategies 2014-2017 require all Australian governments, clinicians, researchers, community and professional organisations and individuals to commit to setting the direction for a coordinated response to addressing the rising rates of BBVs and STIs.
The draft National HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and STI Strategies 2014-2017 are now available for public comment. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander BBV and STI Strategy will be available for comment shortly.
We invite your comments. The online survey for the public consultation of the National BBVs and STIs Strategies 2014-2017 can be accessed on the Department of Health web site.