The NSW Health
HIV Strategy Data Report shows in 2018, NSW had the lowest annual number of
notifications on record. At the same time, HIV testing in NSW has continued to
Kerry Chant, Chief Health Officer said while the results are encouraging, there is evidence that a small number of
cases of recent infections in NSW were linked.
“It is vital that people at risk of HIV infection,
particularly men who have sex with men, take precautions to protect themselves.
This includes taking Pre-Exposure
Prophylaxis (PrEP) and using condoms”
Dr Chant said.
“People who know they have a sexually transmitted
infection also have an obligation under the law to take reasonable precautions
to protect others from infection. For HIV the most effective precaution is
taking treatment to suppress the virus so it can’t be passed on to others, as
well as using condoms.
important to get regularly tested. Men
who have sex with men should get tested at least once a year and men with
multiple partners, up to four times per year.”
the first three months of 2019, 52 men who had
sex with men were diagnosed with HIV in NSW. 52 per
cent had not had a test in the past 12 months and 17 per cent had never had an
“A late diagnosis can be life-threatening and increases the
chances of HIV being passed on to sexual partners. Testing is
discreet, confidential and often free - being diagnosed early means you can
receive treatment and live a long and healthy
life,” Dr Chant said.
The NSW Government
has committed $21.9 million in 2018-19 to strengthen testing, treatment and
prevention with 47 state-funded Sexual Health Clinics also making testing
are available at your local GP or sexual health service. To find out where to
go to get tested call the NSW Sexual
Health Infolink on 1800 451 624.
Blood Spot testing kit can be delivered by post and the
sample self-collected, with results provided by text, email or phone.
HIV Testing Week
runs from 1 – 7 June. For more information about testing and prevention
including PrEP go to: www.health.nsw.gov.au/HIV-test.