This report provides an annual account of progress against the objectives of Australia’s National Blood‑borne Virus (BBV) and Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs) Strategies. The targets and associated objectives of the National Strategies are to improve testing, treatment and uptake of preventative measures for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, STIs and HIV, and to reduce the incidence, morbidity, mortality and personal and social impacts they cause. Each objective has a series of measurable indicators for monitoring progress. This report describes the targets, objectives and indicators of the National Strategies, and the level of progress being made in response. It provides measurement of the effectiveness of our national response and highlights areas requiring attention.
- One of the three hepatitis B targets (Target 1) has been met for the first time in 2017 with hepatitis B vaccination coverage rates at 12 months of age reaching 95%, and 24 months of age reaching 96%, exceeding The Plan’s target of 95%.
- For hepatitis C, Target 2 (increase the number of people receiving treatment by 50% each year) has not been met. Data was not available for 2017 to assess Target 1, however, trends in the rate of hepatitis C notification in those aged less than 25 years can be a proxy for the incidence of hepatitis C exposure.
- Two of the five targets of the STI strategy have been met (1 and 2); high HPV vaccination coverage has been achieved for adolescent females, and males reaching 80% and 76%, respectively in 2017 (target = 70%). Target 2, regarding testing coverage in priority populations, has been partially met with an increase in the proportion of gay men who had a STI test in the past year, from 68% in 2013 to 75% in 2017.
- Three of the seven HIV targets have been met (3, 4 and 5), including sustaining virtual elimination of HIV among sex workers (HIV incidence amongst female sex workers was 0.04 per 100 person years in 2017); people who inject drugs (HIV prevalence was 2.7% in 2017 or 0.7% if men who have sex with men are excluded); and mother‑to‑child HIV transmission (zero HIV cases in 2017). In 2017, 87% of people living with diagnosed HIV were on treatment (target 6 = 90%).
- The Fourth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Blood‑borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy includes targets for STIs and BBVs, some of which are slightly modified to those specific strategies above. Overall, notifications rates for all STIs and BBVs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were higher than the overall Australian rates.