AChSHM Committee Communiqué December 2019

The following communiqué highlights the key issues discussed as part of the 04-2019 AChSHM Committee meeting held on 6 December 2019.


AChSHM Committee Workplan 2019-20

The Committee’s workplan for the first half of 2020 includes:

  • delivering its Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) and Trainees’ Day in March
  • awarding the Penelope Lowe Trainee Prize, the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sexual Health Medicine and the Award for the Best Postgraduate Thesis in Sexual Health Medicine
  • continuing its policy and advocacy work
  • commencing negotiations to develop a model of collaboration with the New Zealand Sexual Health Medicine Society (NZSHS)

AChSHM representation on College Council

Associate Professor Catherine O’Connor has recently commenced as the AChSHM Representative on the College Council, a role previously held by Professor Basil Donovan.

Policy and Advocacy

The Chapter was active in the policy and advocacy space in the last quarter 2019, including:

  • providing feedback on the classification of sexual health specialties and sub-specialties to inform the Department of Health’s Out of Pocket Costs Transparency Working Group
  • Professor Basil Donovan attended a parliamentary breakfast with Professor James Ward in December 2019 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV prevention week
  • Associate Professor Catherine O’Connor continues to assist with the finalisation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sexually Transmitted Infections and Blood Borne Virus Guidelines
  • meetings are being sought with the Queensland and Victorian Health Ministers to discuss syphilis in their jurisdictions


Annual Scientific Meeting and Trainees’ Day

The AChSHM ASM will be held at the RACP event space in Sydney on Saturday, 21 March 2020.

The theme for our 2020 ASM is 'Sex, syndemics and special populations', with presentations focusing on syphilis outbreaks in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and Maori communities, the intersection of chemsex and sexual health among men who have sex with men, and the sexual health of trans and gender-diverse people.

The ASM is attended by AChSHM Fellows, trainees, general practitioners and allied health professionals. There are a number of excellent speakers confirmed to present, including:

  • Dr Nathan Ryder and Dr Sunita Azariah – Epidemiology of syphilis in Australia and New Zealand
  • Professor James Ward – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sexual health
  • A/Prof Adam Bourne – Chemsex among men who have sex with men
  • Dr Jonathan Brett – Case study on chemsex
  • Ms Maggie Smith – STIs and PrEP and the Transgender Community

For 2020 the Trainees’ Day will be held the day before the ASM on Friday, 20 March.

Chapter Narrative Statement

Following the rollout of the College value proposition Specialists.Together – Educate, Advocate, Innovate, individual Chapters, Faculties and the Paediatrics & Child Health Division developed their own value propositions and narrative statements. The aim of the statements and associated advocacy material is to support the Chapter to have a consistent and simple way to talk about its value to key audiences. The AChSHM Committee has now finalised its statement and is currently working to refine associated advocacy toolkit materials. The AChSHM Committee is interested in getting members feedback, so will be circulating the narrative statement and advocacy toolkit materials to members for a short consultation soon.

Model of Collaboration with the NZSHS

On 16 November 2019, Associate Professor Catherine O’Connor met with the New Zealand Sexual Health Medicine Society (NZSHS) Executive Committee and AChSHM Fellows at the NZSHS Conference to discuss establishing a model of collaboration agreement between the NZSHS and RACP. Discussions were positive and we will commence formalising the collaboration in the coming months.

Awards and Prizes

Penelope Lowe Trainee Prize

The Penelope Lowe Prize will be held at the 2020 ASM in March. The $500 prize is awarded to the best case presentation by an Advanced Trainee in Sexual Health Medicine. Applications close 30 January 2020.

The AChSHM Committee will next meet via videoconference on Tuesday, 3 March 2020.
Associate Professor Catherine O’Connor, President
Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine
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