NAPWHA, the National Association of People With HIV Australia have released some troubling findings today, the final day of the 2013 Australasian HIV and AIDS Conference in Darwin. According to NAPWHA, Australia has recorded a 10% increase in HIV infections, the highest in 20 years, and the association is concerned that HIV testing rates are not increasing in parallel with increased infection rates. Only 51% of those diagnosed with HIV are on treatment currently, with concerns mounting that too few people are aware of the new scientific advances in preventing and treating HIV
Outcomes of the conference included establishing targets of 90% of people with HIV to be on treatment, and reducing HIV infections by 50%, by 2015. The conference found that if these targets were to be met, a major overhaul and revitalisation of Australia’s HIV strategy is required. Separate national and state/territory campaigns were suggested.
The World AIDS Conference will be held in Melbourne in July 2014, with NAPWHAT hoping that, as Australia becomes a major focus in HIV, the government will lead a revitalisation of Australia’s HIV response.
More information is available on NAPWHA’s website. Title image by Alex Wong for Getty Images.