The Health News Australia April 11 2018

  • Three tonnes of cocaine, 1.2 tonnes of ecstasy (MDMA) and more than 700 kilograms of heroin were consumed in Australia between August 2016 and August 2017, while a staggering 8 tonnes-plus of methamphetamine were shot up, smoked or snorted. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s fourth National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program report recently released showed an overall increase in illicit drug consumption across the country compared with the previous report.
  • On April 1, Australia joined only a handful of other countries in the world whose governments have made HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) readily available to populations at risk of HIV infection. This step forward takes Australia much closer to achieving its pledge, made in 2014, to end new HIV transmissions by 2020.
  • According to The Advertiser, influenza numbers are at a 6-year high in South Australia, before the cooler weather has even kicked in. In fact, flu numbers in the state are already up 12% from last year’s deadly flu. Despite warmer weather conditions, 970 cases of the flu have already been confirmed.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 11th of April 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/05/meth-remains-australias-illicit-drug-of-choice-report-says

Three tonnes of cocaine, one point two tonnes of ecstasy (MDMA) and more than seven hundred kilograms of heroin were consumed in Australia between August two thousand sixteen and August two thousand seventeen, while a staggering eight tonnes-plus of methamphetamine were shot up, smoked or snorted. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s fourth National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program report recently released showed an overall increase in illicit drug consumption across the country compared with the previous report.
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The highest meth consumption was detected in Adelaide and regional Western Australia.
The federal law enforcement minister, Angus Taylor said that meth was “devastating” country areas where only a decade ago hard drugs were rarely seen.
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Asked to speculate on why Western Australia  had such a strong appetite for meth, Taylor said the state’s open coastline made it an attractive target for drug traffickers.
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The CIC report also showed cocaine and heroin use was higher in capital cities, while MDMA, oxycodone and fentanyl consumption was greater in the regions. New South Wales recorded the nation’s highest average capital city and regional use of cocaine, while the highest average regional consumption of MDMA was in NSW and Queensland. Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory recorded the nation’s highest average capital city heroin intake.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/pharmacology/71/news/nc1/is-truvada-prep-the-gamechanger-that-will-end-new-hiv-transmissions-in-australia/3282/

On April one, Australia joined only a handful of other countries in the world whose governments have made HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) readily available to populations at risk of HIV infection. This step forward takes Australia much closer to achieving its pledge, made in two thousand fourteen, to end new HIV transmissions by two thousand twenty.

PrEP is the most powerful prevention tool currently available for people at risk of HIV infection. In people with high adherence to PrEP medication, it reduces the risk of acquiring HIV by ninety nine percent. This compares to an HIV risk reduction of seventy percent for men who have sex with men (MSM) and eighty percent for heterosexuals who choose consistent condom use alone to prevent HIV infection. In two thousand fifteen the World Health Organisation declared that PrEP should be offered as an additional HIV prevention option to all populations at substantial risk of acquiring HIV.
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Despite PrEP only arriving on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from April this year, Australia is already leading the world in its PrEP use. In Australia, thirty one thousand MSM are estimated to be eligible for PrEP.

Thanks to strong partnerships between community activists, peak Australian HIV organisations, doctors, researchers and state and territory health departments, approximately sixteen thousand MSM receive PrEP through state-funded PrEP trials. Several thousand more people are thought to be personally importing PrEP online thanks to dedicated community activists.
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From April one, two thousand eighteen, people with a Medicare card who are at risk of HIV will be able to receive a script from their general practitioner or medical specialist for a three-month supply of PrEP.

https://startsat60.com/health/big-issues/flu-numbers-six-year-high-south-australia-free-turbo-charged-vaccine-available-for-older-people

According to The Advertiser, influenza numbers are at a six-year high in South Australia, before the cooler weather has even kicked in. In fact, flu numbers in the state are already up twelve percent from last year’s deadly flu. Despite warmer weather conditions, nine hundred seventy cases of the flu have already been confirmed.

It’s a similar story in Queensland, where thirty six people a day are catching the flu. That means before the winter season has even begun, more than three thousand people have felt the impact of the illness, SBS News reports. Last year’s flu season was one of the worst in Australia’s history, infecting more than seventy one thousand people across the country. Queensland and New South Wales were hit the hardest, but South Australia and Victoria also felt the effects. Seven elderly people in an aged care facility died as a result of their extreme symptoms, while other Australians took longer than normal to overcome their symptoms.

In response, the government will release a turbo-charged vaccine specifically for people over the age of sixty five. It will be available later this month and will be free of charge. Speaking to Starts at sixty recently, Australian Medical Association Vice President Doctor Tony Bartone explained that it was important for older Australians to wait for the new vaccine to become available.

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