The Waikato DHB HIV clinic in Hamilton has become the first clinic in the nation to contribute to the Australian HIV Observational Database (AHOD), which monitors patterns of HIV disease and its treatment in Australia and now New Zealand.
The voluntary programme, which requires written consent from participants, invites people receiving treatment from the clinic to permit their disease and treatment information to be added to the database that monitors the pattern of HIV disease and its treatment. This will enable the medical community to learn more about the HIV epidemic in Australia/New Zealand and better target treatment and preventative programmes.
Dr Graham Mills, Clinical Director of the Waikato DHB HIV clinic, has been working in the HIV sector since the early 1990s and is excited to be joining the AHOD. “The NZ experience of HIV management and the successes in this part of the world will be shared onto the international stage, thus benefiting NZs HIV infected community.”
Confidential data that will be supplied to the database includes simple patient identifiers, clinical history, stage of the disease, antiretroviral treatments and history. This data is transferred via password-protected files to The Kirby Institute in Australia, which is administering the programme. The institute’s primary function relates to the co-ordination of national surveillance programs, clinical research and clinical trials. Its research programme has increasingly taken on a regional focus, with major collaborative programs in Thailand and Cambodia.
“Being involved with the database allows NZ to be reflected within the study,” comments Graham on the clinic’s connection to the database. “The Kirby institute has many publications that arise out of the study so it will be a privilege to allow NZ data to increase knowledge on HIV around the world.”
If you are receiving HIV/AIDS treatment through the Waikato DHB’s HIV Clinic, speak to your physician about participating or if you are elsewhere in New Zealand, ask when your clinic plans on taking part. Currently the Wellington HIV clinic is contemplating the software needs required to participate within the AHOD.
For more on The Kirby Institute, visit www.kirby.unsw.edu.au.