Enhancing infectious diseases surveillance in prison to reduce the threat of bloodborne viruses and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) (National prison BBV/STI surveillance)

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Strands Project Theme
Project Description

Prior to 2004, the major source of infectious diseases data on Australia prisoners was from routine notifications to health departments arising from compulsory HIV testing of individuals on reception to prison. However, this has gradually been phased out nationally. In addition there is a lack of a standardised approach to BBV and STI screening and so the utility of notification data is now questioned.  The National Prison Entrants’ Bloodborne Virus Survey (NPEBBVS) examines the hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in prisons across all states and territories. Data gathered from the NPEBBVS informs the response to communicable diseases within prisons.

This project aims to enhance the quality and reporting of infectious diseases information obtained from prisons.  To achieve this, the Prison Communicable Diseases Network-Australia (PCDN-A) inaugurated in late 2012 and convened by members of the CRE, would facilitate the development of harmonised national screening, surveillance and reporting protocols across jurisdictions.  The PCDN-A will aim to extend current surveillance activities to include juvenile offenders who are also at a pronounced risk of communicable diseases, incident hepatitis infection, tuberculosis, and influenza.  The utility of prison notifications to increase knowledge of infectious diseases in rural/remote Aboriginal communities will also be examined.

Project Team
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Professor
Ph +61 (2) 9385 9257 / 041 111 4927
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Research Associate
Ph +61 (2) 9385 9251
Project Contact
image - A2A8699
Professor
Ph +61 (2) 9385 9257 / 041 111 4927