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New campaign as diagnosis soars

ACCORDING to the 2011 Kirby Institute Surveillance Report, Queensland's HIV diagnosis rate had soared from 2.8 per 100,000 people in 2001, to 5.4 in 2010.

On August 26 the Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg, launched Queensland's first HIV television campaign in more than ten years.

The blitz commences early next month and will also be supported with print advertisements as a part of the Newman Government's goal to "Make HIV History".

Mr Springborg said the awareness campaign followed through on the Government's pledge to make HIV/AIDS a health priority, following confirmation that HIV diagnosis rates had almost doubled in the last decade.

"No Australian government has made a television-specific advertisement targeting HIV for a decade," Mr Springborg said.

"We undertook market research in both the gay and broader community because this is not an exclusively gay issue.

"HIV is affecting all Queenslanders and we needed a campaign that would reach everybody."

Mr Springborg said Queensland had signed up to Commonwealth and UN targets for reductions in HIV transmission. The UN target is a 50% reduction by 2015.

"These advertisements show that lives are affected and they highlight, through a fleeting appearance of the iconic Grim Reaper, that the threat of HIV/AIDS did not go away after the last campaign ended," he said.

"It was the focus that disappeared, and the Newman Government is determined to reverse the trend in this and so many other areas of preventative health."

Mr Springborg said Queenslanders could expect to see a much more high profile approach to preventative health campaigns across the board, with a greater focus on mass-media communications.

"It is alarming and disappointing that the former government did so little in raising the awareness of HIV," he said.

For more information on HIV, people can visit www.endHIV.qld.gov.au.

Topics:  advertisements aids hiv lawrence springborg queensland health



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