Research Updates Dec

NZAF Research Update - December

Highlights of the latest local and international research and policy developments in the HIV and sexual health space.

Research Updates Dec

NZAF Research Update - December


Highlights of the latest local and international research and policy developments in the HIV and sexual health space.


We keep track of local and international research and policy developments. If you are professionally involved in, or have an interest in, HIV and sexual health research, current practice, or policy - check back regularly to stay up to date with the latest. 

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1. People living with HIV Stigma Index Aotearoa New Zealand

Summary: The monumental collaborative effort of an inspiring team resulted in gathering the voices of 188 people living with HIV in Aotearoa. What is unique about the Stigma Index studies is that they are truly owned by people living with HIV. What is unique about the Aotearoa edition of the study, is the focus on the spirit of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The findings draw attention to persisting social and structural difficulties, and the working group has come up with important recommendations about how to tackle these challenges both on policy and practice levels.   

Read the full report here

2. Cascade of care of people diagnosed with HIV in New Zealand

Summary: Eagerly awaited, this important research presents the local Aotearoa New Zealand data on antiretrovirals uptake and viral suppression among people diagnosed with HIV. There are some formal notification system-related aspects that make obtaining up-to-date and complete information quite challenging for the research team, so the ranges remain quite broad for the percentage of persons diagnosed on ART (99-78%) and those on ART with suppressed viral loads (98%-78%). 

Read the full article here

3. Honour Project Aotearoa Report

Summary: This highly anticipated impressive study is a first of such scale and complexity that addresses health and wellbeing and focuses on strengths in addressing the needs of takatāpui/Māori LGBTQ+ communities. Using Kaupapa Māori methodologies that illuminate the issues at heart of the project from a multitude of angles, the study team conducted 50 in-depth interviews and recruited 368 survey participants. The final report presents a snapshot of inequities as they persist today and outlines what change is necessary to enable takatāpui to enjoy better health and wellbeing. 

Read the full report and find resources here

4. National trends in sexual health indicators among gay and bisexual men disaggregated by ethnicity: repeated cross-sectional behavioural surveillance in New Zealand

Summary: This important study highlights the complexities in looking at overall epidemiological trends among gay and bisexual men in Aotearoa New Zealand. The authors analysed the behavioural surveillance data between 2006-2014 and found that Indigenous and ethnic minority groups were characterised by trends that differed significantly from the largest group of European MSM. When we talk about the changing directions of the sexual practices of MSM, it is necessary to disaggregate data by ethnicity. This can reveal a more detailed set of patterns, which will be more helpful in setting public health priorities and designing interventions that will appropriately respond to the needs of Aotearoa's diverse communities. 

Read the full article here

5. What counts as consent? Sexuality and ethical deliberation in residential aged care

Summary: This report presents the findings of a large mixed-methods study addressing the much under-researched issue of sexual needs and rights of residents in aged care facilities. The study team paints a complicated picture where the ethics of consent that support bodily autonomy (especially among those who are cognitively impaired) may not always be fully supported by staff and centre management. The authors make recommendations to improve the sexual wellbeing of residents and encourage aged care centres to implement clear policies surrounding sexuality and sexual consent as well as provide appropriate sexual education to staff. 

Read the full report here

6. Factors associated with reporting antibiotic use as STI prophylaxis among HIV PrEP users

Summary: Antibiotic pre-exposure prophylaxis for bacterial STIs has been a polarising issue in the wider sexual health sector. DoxyPrEP has been found effective in reducing the risk of chlamydia and syphilis, yet concerns remain about the risk of growing antibiotic resistance if it was to be delivered at scale. Despite not being included in the clinical guidelines, this UK study found that about 1 in 10 HIV PrEP users had used antibiotics to prevent bacterial infections. 

Aidsmap.com summary here

Read the full article here

7. Point-of-Care Testing in Rural and Remote Settings to Improve Access and Improve Outcomes: A Snapshot of the New Zealand Experience

Summary: This article presents an overview of point-of-care tests (POCTs) usage in Aotearoa New Zealand, which can be particularly relevant for rural and remote practices where lab access may be challenging. The introduction to the article also presents a brief outline of the current regulatory framework for medical devices (which include POCTs).

Read the full article here

 


Collated and summarised by NZAF Scientific Officer Jacek Kolodziej

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