22 March 2016

HIV case prompts call for STI testing

WA Health is urging anyone who has had unprotected sex with a recently charged sex worker to seek medical advice.

Clayton James Palmer, who identifies as a woman and worked under the name Sienna Fox, was charged with a grievous bodily harm offence by WA Police last month for allegedly infecting a male client with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

It is alleged that the sex worker had unprotected sex without disclosing that she was carrying the virus.

WA Health’s Director Communicable Disease Control Directorate, Dr Paul Armstrong said there was always a risk of transmission for anyone who had unprotected sex with an infected person – and these people should visit their GP or health service to request a sexual health test as soon as possible.

“The only way to find out if you have been infected with HIV is to have a blood test,” Dr Armstrong said.

“However, for a short period just after HIV enters the body, it can’t be picked up with a test. If your result is negative, you will need to have another test after three months.

“WA Health has also established a confidential special assistance phone line (1800 131 231) to provide advice and support for people who have ever been clients of Ms Fox.”

HIV can be transmitted through unsafe sex or by contact with blood or other body fluids.

Symptoms soon after HIV transmission could include, fever, headache, tiredness or a rash; however, some people may not have any initial symptoms at all.

Safe and highly effective treatments for HIV are readily available.

Anyone concerned that they might have been exposed to HIV or another sexually transmitted infection or blood-borne virus, can contact the following health services for testing:

  • General Practitioners
  • South Terrace Clinic (STC), 9431 2149
  • Royal Perth Hospital Sexual Health Clinic, 9224 2178
  • M Clinic (an STI/HIV screening and counselling service for men who have sex with men), 9227 0734

Media contact: 9222 4333

Follow us on Twitter: @WAHealth