Regional Network members are encouraged to list any professional development activities, conferences and training they are involved in on the Regional Network Calendar. In addition, members are encouraged to consider hosting or supporting additional satellite or related events. Regional Network members are invited to attend these events and/or promulgate them among their members.
Members are encouraged to share concept ideas with the Network. Concept sheets are provided to assist Members to start planning an event. That way we can work together to see whether there is support for a given meeting or event. Together we may be able to locate supporters, sponsor, government or non-government funding for events.
Some Network events may be self-funding and may generate funds for the organisers.
Regional Network Meeting Reports
Brief Report from the May Hong Kong Symposium held at APACC
The Regional Network held a symposium for members and interested delegates attending the Asia and Pacific AIDS and Coinfections Conference in Hong Kong on Tuesday 17 May 2016. The symposium was attended by 50 delegates and reviewed work of the Network since its meeting in January in Bangkok.
Report from the 1st Assembly and Strategic Plan
The Report from the first Assembly and Strategic Plan is available for download from the www.regionalnetwork.ashm.org.au
Report on the WHO Consultation on HIV Drug Resistance Testing
WHO will be holding a consultation at the HIV Guidelines dissemination meeting in Bangkok 9 – 12 August 2016.
A technical survey is available online and members are encouraged to complete this http://bit.ly/1stzRaf
A non-technical survey will be developed by WHO in June/July and details will be circulated through the Network.
Report on the WHO Regional Action Plan for Viral Hepatitis
This meeting was held in Jakarta in late April 2016.
Major conclusions were that there is a need for data to guide action; prevention is the key to elimination, vaccination, safe-injecting, WH7S, water sanitation and hygiene; simplified diagnostics; needed; lab capacity strengthening and Quality Assurance; Multi-stakeholder engagement and integration across health programs and innovation.
WHO is seeking nominations for technical areas:
- Surveillance and monitoring
- Diagnostics and lab capacity strengthening;
- Affordable and equitable access to treatment and care
- Advocacy and resource mobilisation and
- Innovations for scaling up.
PrEP in Hong Kong and Regional Insights
Andrew Chidgey, CEO of AIDS Concern Hong Kong, presented on the current status of PrEP. The full presentation is available on the website in the Symposium Report.
Andrew has also arranged a consultation between Hong Kong health officials and visiting experts in HIV PrEP from around the region, in an attempt to provide answers and examples about how HIV PrEP is being introduced in other countries.
Members’ discussion forum:
The following points were raised in discussion:
- How the Regional Network can influence policy, government and pharma companies, particularly in relation to making drugs available at affordable prices.
- Can we provide advice about how buyer’s clubs can be set up to access affordable drugs. The current patent will expire in some places in 2017.
- In relation to PrEP how can we explore episodic PrEP
- PrEP access varies a lot between countries and places
- The cost of PrEP in Hong Kong seems very high, more than USA. In USA people were slow to take up PrEP but this has changed more recently and in Australia seems much faster, probably because more in known about it now.
- NGOs have a key role to play in activism for PrEP drugs (and other drugs) and affordability.
- PNG has seen lots of money come in for HIV, but there is no platform for viral hepatitis. Viral hep is neglected and there are no established diagnostics for testing
- Hb S Ag is the only test available. People are trained in HIV testing (including HIV PoCT) but then they move around and skills are lost.
- There is not going to be a Global Fund for viral hepatitis. There is going to need to be considerable task shifting to respond to treatment and care needs. This will be essential in achieving health for all.
- Need to engage more with the private sector and community organisations
- OHS and safe injecting may be access points to get information out about HIV and viral hepatitis
Launch of the website and activities:
The website has been developed and started. It is very interactive and members and others can enter information directly onto the site. This is moderated only to the extent to remove spam.
- Calendar of events
- Members list, country summaries, links to organisation websites
- Guidelines, policies, standards, please review and add
- Library of related resources
- Blog, can sign up and you can blog
- Members can enter activities directly to site
- Jobs and services register
- Will aim to link additional resources
A relationship with the University of NSW has resulted on a ongoing placement for at least one and possibly two Public Health/International Public Health Students. They are maintaining the country summaries and updating these and assisting new members coming to the Network.
Six scholarships were provided to this meeting, and work is underway planning a training in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan (next to the IUSTI Conference).
To devise a proposal for ongoing support to the Regional Network. This will be actioned following this meeting.
Meeting closed at 13.00