Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Today is World Aids Day

Today, December 1, is not only the official beginning of summer, but is also World Aids Day.

There are many events around the country being held today and the next few days. I will be at the event in Brisbane at 7pm tonight at Brisbane Square (Redacliff Place) at the top of the Queen Street Mall for the candlelight vigil to remember all those who have died from this nasty disease.

People keep being infected with HIV each year.Here are some facts and figures from the Kirby Institute about HIV:

The number of HIV infections newly diagnosed in Australia has remained stable for the past three years, with 1 081
cases in 2014, 1 028 in 2013 and 1 064 in 2012.
Based on these newly diagnosed cases, the main route of HIV transmission in Australia continues to be sexual
contact between men, which accounted for 70% of the cases in 2014.
A further 19% of cases were attributed to heterosexual sex, 5% to sexual contact between men and injecting drug
use, and 3% to injecting drug use only.
Among cases attributed to heterosexual sex, 23% were in people born in countries recognised by the UNAIDS as
having a national HIV prevalence above 1%, and 16% in people with sexual partners of people born in these countries
Based on tests for immune function, over a quarter (28%) of the new HIV diagnoses in 2014 were determined to be
late, in that they were in people who were likely to have had their infection for at least four years without being tested.
The proportion with late diagnosis was highest in people born in South East Asia (42%) and sub‑Saharan Africa (38%).
Based on 33 cases, the rates of HIV diagnosis in 2014 among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was
higher than in the Australian‑born non‑Indigenous population (5.9 vs 3.7 per 100 000).
In the most recent five year reporting period (2010 – 14), a greater proportion of HIV diagnoses in the Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander population were attributed to injecting drug use (16%) or heterosexual sex (20%)
compared with the Australian born non‑Indigenous population (3% and 13%, respectively) .
Among 242 women with HIV who have given birth in the five year period 2010 – 2014, the transmission rate to
newborns was 1.7%, compared to 32% in the period 1990 – 1994.
At the end of 2014, an estimated 27 150 people (range 24 630 to 30 310) were living with HIV infection in Australia,
of whom an estimated 3 350 (12%) were unaware of their HIV positive status.
At 0.1%, the prevalence or overall proportion of people in Australia who have HIV is low compared to other high
income countries, and countries in the region.
The HIV prevalence in 2014 was highest among gay men (17%).
HIV prevalence continues to be very low among people who inject drugs, at 1.7% in 2014 (or under 0.5% if men
with a history of male to male sex are excluded), and extremely low among women involved in sex work (no HIV
cases detected among 3 559 female sex workers tested).
Among the estimated 88% of people with HIV in Australia (range 83 to 92%) who were diagnosed at the end
of 2014, an estimated 73% (range 70 to 77%) were receiving treatment with antiretroviral therapy, with therapy
successfully controlling the infection (“viral suppression”) in 92% (range 84 to 97%). These three figures compare
well to the United Nations targets of 90%

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