National HIV/AIDS Strategy 2005-2008: Implementation Plan

4. Hiv testing

Page last updated: 07 November 2006

Priority Action Areas:

  • The 1998 HIV Testing Policy will be reviewed and revised in accordance with the changing epidemiology, technology and social context of the HIV epidemic in Australia
  • Strengthen existing programs to encourage HIV testing for people from CALD backgrounds who may be or have been at risk of exposure to HIV.

Responsibility:

Lead: Department of Health and Ageing; HASTI; IGCAHRD; NPAAC
Partners: State and Territory Governments; AFAO; NAPWA; AIVL; Scarlet Alliance; community based organisations; other Government agencies; NACCHO and affiliates; health professional groups; ASHM; sexual health clinics.

By When:

Updated policy released in July 2006
HIV testing listed on MBS by November 2005
Continuously strengthen programs around awareness of HIV testing.

Approach to Achieve Outcomes:

  • Examine the mechanism for maintaining the capacity for free and anonymous tests.
  • Examine pre- and post-test information procedures; examine the clinical role of new rapid testing technologies, and formal guidelines for use.
  • Examine antenatal testing protocols.
  • Examine the possibility of non-blood tests for HIV.
  • Examine ways to improve access to testing for priority populations.
  • Consider targeted testing, within a broad health promotion framework, in priority groups with higher rates of late HIV presentation.
  • Consider targeted testing for people presenting with an STI.
  • Consider ways to strengthen access by priority groups to anonymous HIV testing available at sexual health clinics in all jurisdictions.
  • Ensure that levels of confidentiality in HIV testing are maintained.
  • Implement standards framework for laboratory testing.

Outcomes:

  • Updated Policy.
  • Reduced number of late presentations for HIV infection.
  • Increased number of people from CALD communities accessing HIV testing.
  • Access to free and anonymous testing maintained.

Measures of Achievement:

  • Updated policy completed and distributed within specified timeframe.
  • Listing of HIV testing on the MBS within specified timeframe.
  • Evidence of targeted initiatives to raise awareness and promote appropriate testing.
  • Decrease in the proportion of people from CALD backgrounds presenting with late HIV diagnoses.