Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: The Medical journal of Australia


To investigate the characteristics of parents and intended parents and their current and planned behaviour in relation to surrogacy arrangements.

Concepts: Family, Pregnancy


To describe the services provided to young people aged 12-25 years who attend headspace centres across Australia, and how these services are being delivered.

Concepts: Young


To test the popular assertion that bald men are more virile than their well thatched contemporaries

Concepts: Baldness, Men


Criminal cases involving human immunodeficiency virus transmission or exposure require that courts correctly comprehend the rapidly evolving science of HIV transmission and the impact of an HIV diagnosis. This consensus statement, written by leading HIV clinicians and scientists, provides current scientific evidence to facilitate just outcomes in Australian criminal cases involving HIV.Main recommendations: Caution should be exercised when considering charges or prosecutions regarding HIV transmission or exposure because:Scientific evidence shows that the risk of HIV transmission during sex between partners of different HIV serostatus can be low, negligible or too low to quantify, even when the HIV-positive partner is not taking effective antiretroviral therapy, depending on the nature of the sexual act, the viral load of the partner with HIV, and whether a condom or pre-exposure prophylaxis is employed to reduce risk.The use of phylogenetic analysis in cases of suspected HIV transmission requires careful consideration of its limited probative value as evidence of causation of HIV infection, although such an approach may provide valuable information, particularly in relation to excluding HIV transmission between individuals.Most people recently infected with HIV are able to commence simple treatment providing them a normal and healthy life expectancy, largely comparable with their HIV-negative peers. Among people who have been diagnosed and are receiving treatment, HIV is rarely life threatening. People with HIV can conceive children with negligible risk to their partner and low risk to their child.Changes in management as result of the consensus statement: Given the limited risk of HIV transmission per sexual act and the limited long term harms experienced by most people recently diagnosed with HIV, appropriate care should be taken before HIV prosecutions are pursued. Careful attention should be paid to the best scientific evidence on HIV risk and harms, with consideration given to alternatives to prosecution, including public health management.

Concepts: Antiretroviral drug, HIV, AIDS, Viral load, Sexual intercourse, Infectious disease, Human sexual behavior, Condom


In 2017, the National Cervical Screening Program in Australia will transition to 5-yearly primary HPV screening for all women, irrespective of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination status. As an adjunct to the mainstream program, HPV testing on self-collected samples will be offered under practitioner supervision to all unscreened and underscreened women aged 30-74 years. We quantified how different screening decisions affect the future risk of cervical cancer.

Concepts: Cancer, Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, Human papillomavirus, Cervical cancer, Papillomavirus, HPV vaccine, Gardasil, Cervarix


To examine the impact of a two-part special edition of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s science journalism program Catalyst (titled Heart of the matter), aired in October 2013, that was critical of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (“statins”).

Concepts: Statin


Older people with cognitive impairment and/or dementia may be particularly vulnerable to diminished financial decision-making capacity. Financial capacity refers to the ability to satisfactorily manage one’s financial affairs in a manner consistent with personal self-interest and values. Impairment of financial capacity makes the older individual vulnerable to financial exploitation, may negatively affect their family’s financial situation and places strain on relationships within the family. Clinicians are often on the front line of responding to queries regarding decision-making capacity, and clinical evaluation options are often not well understood. Assessment of financial capacity should include formal objective assessment in addition to a clinical interview and gathering contextual data. Development of a flexible, empirically supported and clinically relevant assessment approach that spans all dimensions of financial capacity yet is simple enough to be used by non-specialist clinicians is needed.

Concepts: Psychology, Death, Middle age, Sociology, Economics, Cognition, Assessment, Old age


To report the quarterly incidence of hospital-identified Clostridium difficile infection (HI-CDI) in Australia, and to estimate the burden ascribed to hospital-associated (HA) and community-associated (CA) infections.

Concepts: Infection, Transmission and infection of H5N1, Clostridium difficile, Clostridium


To provide the first national profile of the characteristics of young people (aged 12-25¬†years) accessing headspace centre services - the Australian Government’s innovation in youth mental health service delivery - and investigate whether headspace is providing early service access for adolescents and young adults with emerging mental health problems.

Concepts: Economics, Mental disorder, Australia, Youth, Australian Capital Territory, Young, The Australian, Government of Australia


The minimum requirements for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) are significant, prolonged symptoms with supporting clinical and radiological signs. Despite interest in screening tools, there is limited evidence for a specific symptom threshold that justifies surgery. Non-operative treatments including medications, exercise and weight loss are unlikely to reverse radiographic changes, but they may improve symptoms and delay the need for surgery. Many patient factors such as mental health and obesity affect both the level of symptomatic improvement after surgery and risks of surgery, but none have been identified as contraindications for the procedure as significant health gains can still be achieved. Although age and sex are associated with patient-reported outcomes and risk of revision, these factors cannot be used to restrict access to TKA, and age cut-offs are not recommended. Evidence regarding pre-operative optimisation of patients to improve post-operative TKA outcomes is limited by the few interventional trials available, particularly in the areas of patient expectation, diabetes, obesity and vascular disease. There is good evidence from randomised controlled trials that pre-operative rehabilitation primarily focusing on exercises for the joint or limb has minimal effect on post-operative TKA outcomes, and there is some evidence from randomised controlled trials that an intensive smoking cessation program before surgery may improve post-operative outcomes. Detailed international guidelines exist on the optimisation of the cardiorespiratory status of surgical patients, and these should be followed for TKA surgery.