NSW has made significant progress in increasing HIV testing, treatment uptake among people with diagnosed HIV and strengthening prevention efforts, although it is estimated that around 14 per cent of people with HIV are undiagnosed.
World AIDS Day, on 1 December, provides an important opportunity for us to remember those who have lost their lives to HIV and AIDS and to show support for people living with HIV.
To further promote awareness about HIV and AIDS, AIDS Awareness Week, 24–30 November, will focus on promoting HIV testing. More people are testing and accessing support services than ever before, but there’s still more work to be done to ensure timely diagnoses and enable access to early treatment uptake, highlighting the need for people to test and test more often. HIV testing is easier and more accessible than ever before. HIV can affect people of all ages, genders, races, and cultures.
“The most effective way for people to protect themselves and their partners is to consistently use condoms with sexual partners and have regular HIV and STI testing,” Hunter New England Health Director of Sexual Health Services, Nathan Ryder said.
“HIV testing leads to early detection and allows early uptake of treatment, which improves individual health and prevents transmission to others.”
Early treatment is a key to an effective response to HIV. Most people receiving treatment in Australia have a similar life expectancy to people without HIV. In NSW, over 90% of people with HIV attending public HIV and sexual health clinics are now on treatment.
World AIDS Day is an opportunity to address the HIV-related stigma that still persists in Australia, undermining prevention, testing and treatment efforts and causing social isolation for many people living with HIV.
Events will be held across the week to encourage people to test for HIV more often and to increase community awareness about prevention of HIV and support for those living with HIV.
For further information on local events.
For information on World AIDS Day.
For information on HIV and HIV testing.