Australia is on track to ‘virtually eliminate’ HIV


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Australia is on track to ‘virtually eliminate’ HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).

The UNSW Kirby Institute has released up-to-date data from the past decade of HIV from across Australia’s states and territories.

The data shows that new diagnoses among gay and bisexual men have reduced by 57 per cent.

Overall, new HIV diagnoses have been cut by 43 per cent in Australia.

Andrew Grulich, who heads the Kirby Institute’s HIV epidemiology and prevention program, said Australia could be virtually HIV-free within the next three to five years.

“We have a trendline which if continued out into the future would lead to a 90 per cent reduction of incidence – which is what the [United Nations AIDS/HIV program] defines as the end of AIDS as a public health threat,” Professor Grulich said.

Reduction due to the uptake of PrEP and HIV Testing 

For Cosmos Magazine, Kirby Institute’s Surveillance Innovation Group lead Skye McGregor said these results have been realised thanks to the uptake of HIV testing and the use of PrEP.

READ MORE: Shame, stigma and the slutty little pill: the PrEP experience

But the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed as part of it likely played an important role in lowering exposure risk.

“We’ve seen sustained low HIV diagnoses in Australia and the response really has been characterised by partnerships between community research and government sectors,” Dr McGregor said.

However, a slower reduction among some groups and a high rate of late detections are still troubling experts.

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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch: sarah@qnews.com.au

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