Projects

ACCESS: The Australian Collaboration for Coordinated Enhanced Sentinel Surveillance of Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections

Background

The ACCESS project is a national health surveillance network of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood borne viruses (BBVs), which started in 2008. ACCESS was initially focused exclusively on chlamydia, but in 2013 expanded to encompass other STIs and BBVs as well. In 2016, ACCESS received funding from the Australian Department of Health to improve coverage and capacity for monitoring testing, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV, Hepatitis B and C and STIs in every state and territory. Our success in this endeavour relies on meaningful collaborations with participating sites. ACCESS collates de-identified data from more than 100 sexual health clinics, general practices, hospitals, community health services and pathology laboratories across Australia. Data are automatically extracted from participating services using an innovative health software called GRHANITE, which means that after the initial setup very little maintenance is required from participating sites. No details that could identify an individual patient are ever extracted and all extracts are encrypted using industry-leading integrity and data security technology. Patient confidentiality and data security are our highest priorities.

Data collected via ACCESS are used to monitor STIs and BBVs across Australia and also for individual research projects, clinical audits, and jurisdictional surveillance. We are also committed to giving back to our community of partners, by providing participating sites with regular data reports to help improve systems and processes and to enable their own research endeavours.

For more information on this project visit www.accessproject.org.au

Timeline

  • Since 2007, with funding to 2023

Results

Visit the ACCESS website for numerous publications and reports featuring the ACCESS data.

Outcomes

How is the system useful for sentinel sites?

ACCESS provides site specific reports that describe how many individuals were tested, the characteristics of these individuals and the proportion who test positive. This information has enhanced the capacity of sites to observe local chlamydia trends in priority and other relevant groups and raise awareness about testing at the sites.

How is the system useful for state/territory health departments?

ACCESS contributes to national and state specific site reports by describing how many individuals were tested, the characteristics of these individuals and the proportion who test positive. This information has enhanced the jurisdictions ability to interpret passive surveillance chlamydia trends.

Collaborators

ACCESS is led by sexual health clinicians and researchers at Burnet Institute, the Kirby Institute, and the National Reference Laboratory, with support from more than 120 participating sites across the country and the GRHANITE team at the University of Melbourne’s Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre.

Funding

ACCESS receives core funding from the Australian Department of Health with the aim to monitor Australia’s progress in the control of blood borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections. In addition, the governments of New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory provide funding for state level outcomes. Funding for particular outcomes is also provided by the Blood Borne Virus & STI Research, Intervention and Strategic Evaluation Program (BRISE), an NHMRC Project Grant (APP1082336), a NHMRC Partnership Grant (GNT1092852), and the Prevention Research Support Program, funded by the New South Wales Ministry of Health.

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Jason Asselin

Senior Research Officer

Telephone

+61385062384

Email

jason.asselin@burnet.edu.au