Hepatitis C

Call up your injection crew and gather around the gramophone, it’s time for Scott and Rahul to bring you the good news about Hepatitis C – there’s a cure and we’ve distilled it here ready for an acoustic injection. Keep the naloxone on standby, we’ll be your spiritual guides as we go deep!

Answer – HIV PEP Post 16/5/18

Which exposure would NOT be an indication for Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) in an Australian (low HIV prevalence) context?

  1. A man presents after sharing needles with another man who he believes may be HIV positive.
  2. A woman presents following receptive anal intercourse with a HIV + source known to be well controlled on antiretroviral therapy
  3. A lady presents after unprotected vaginal intercourse with a man from a high HIV prevalence country
  4. A healthcare worker presents following a needlestick injury in a patient with poorly controlled HIV’


Answer B

New evidence from the partner study suggests that the chance of HIV transmission from a viral load suppressed source is negligible. This groundbreaking study of 1166 serodiscordant partners in whom the HIV+ partner had viral suppression reported 0 cases of HIV transmission between the partners, despite 22,000 condomless sex acts among MSM and 36000 among heterosexual partners. The study was powered to give a 95% upper confidence of 0.3/100 couple years of condomless sex, suggesting that the risk is lower than it was previously thought to be a few years ago.

Add in the the weight of new evidence about the morbidity benefits of ART in the SMART and TEMPRANO trials has led to recent changes in WHO and Australian ASHM, which now recommend starting antiretroviral therapy in almost all HIV patients.

A, C, and D would all be indications for PEP by Australian guidelines. B would not be a indication, nor would even unprotected receptive anal sex with a source with unknown HIV status from the standard Australian low prevalence community – although it could be considered if the source was from a higher prevalence group – eg a country with higher prevalence or a subgroup like IVDU. Remember, this more conservative administration of PEP reflects both new evidence and low Australian prevalence, and many countries might have higher prevalence or not have updated older more conservative guidelines yet.


For tons of extra information including probabilities of  transmission risks by different exposures and current indications for PEP check out ASHMs great guidelines here.


And the 2016 WHO guidelines here


THe PARTNER study is here


Research – The How and Why

Ever pondered whether you might suit the professorial lifestyle? This episode, featuring special guests Dr. Adam Brown and Dr. Nitesh Nerlekar, will run through what the appeals of including research in your career are and some basics on how to get started. Drs. Brown and Nitesh are academic cardiologists from Monash Health in Melbourne and have mentored many medical students, junior doctors and PhD candidates in their nascent careers. So sit back, grab a Pina Colada and get caught in the research rain. 

Nitesh, Adam and Rahul (alongside a few other academic doctors) are running a research skills course in Melbourne at the Alfred Hospital over the weekend of May 19-20. This course will provide a more in-depth guide on the skills needed get some publications to your name and avoid some of the traps that many young doctors fall into. You can sign up at www.medcube.com.au