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.
- 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.