News

Funding to boost instant testing and treatment for syphilis outbreak


Paul Hayes


19/12/2018 11:18:01 AM

An ongoing infectious syphilis outbreak has prompted the Federal Government to more than double its funding to combat the issue.

Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt said the funding boost will mean more ‘test and treat’ services in communities throughout the NT, WA and SA. (Image: Mick Tsikas)
Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt said the funding boost will mean more ‘test and treat’ services in communities throughout the NT, WA and SA. (Image: Mick Tsikas)

The Government has pledged a further $12.4 million to ‘extend and sustain instant testing and treatment’ in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in northern, southern and central Australia.
 
‘The point-of-care test and treat model has already been successfully rolled out to eight Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across Townsville, Cairns, Darwin, the Katherine region, East Arnhem Land and the Kimberley,’ Federal Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt said.
 
‘Almost 120 local health professionals have been trained to use the test kits and more than 4000 people have been tested by health services funded by phases one and two of the program.
 
‘This funding boost will mean more test and treat services will be deployed in Phase Three – across the Northern Territory, Western Australia [West Kimberley and Pilbara] and South Australia [locations to be confirmed].
 
‘It includes a $1 million fund to allow for rapid responses in any other areas where an emerging syphilis outbreak is detected.’
 
The Federal Government’s funding for the issue is now $21.2 million through to June 2021.
 
GP recommendations
The Department of Health (DoH) has advised that the rapid and widespread nature of the outbreak, and high mobility of the at-risk population, may result in spreading to new non-outbreak areas.
 
The DoH encourages GPs to:

  • test all young people annually for sexually transmissible infections (STIs)
  • test all young people with another STI (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, mycoplasma genitalium) for syphilis and HIV
  • test all asymptomatic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people for syphilis at least annually in outbreak affected areas
  • treat and test all symptomatic cases of STIs immediately
  • treat all cases of infectious syphilis within two weeks of diagnosis and encourage all sexual contacts of cases to get tested
  • test all cases of infectious syphilis for HIV
  • follow up cases for repeat syphilis serology at 3–6 months following treatment.
More information, including clinical resources and community engagement resources, is available on the DoH website.



funding syphilis outbreak test and treat





Comments



 Security code