Recent HIV in NSW alert

WHILE there has been 22 per cent fewer reports of people with HIV, health authorities warn there’s no time for complacency and it is vital that people at risk of infection take precautions to protect themselves and others.

WSLHD sexual health director Professor David Lewis said HIV Testing Week (June 1-7) is a good reminder for everyone who is sexually active to get regularly tested.
In the first three months of 2019, 52 men who had sex with men were diagnosed with HIV in NSW. Fifty-two per cent had not had a test in the past 12 months and 17 per cent had never had an HIV test.
Dr Kerry Chant, NSW Chief Health Officer, says that while the results are encouraging, there is evidence that a small number of cases of recent infections in NSW were linked.
“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,” Dr Chant said.
“For HIV the most effective precaution is taking treatment to suppress the virus so it can’t be passed on to others.”
Dr Chant warns that a late diagnosis can be life-threatening and increases the chances of HIV being passed on.
“Testing is discreet, confidential and often free – being diagnosed early means you can receive treatment and live a long and healthy life,” she said.
Tests are available at your local GP. To find out where to go, call NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624.
There is also the new Dried Blood Spot testing kit which can be delivered by post and the sample self-collected, with results provided by text, email or phone.