Qld shows decrease in HIV cases despite rise in other states

THE number of HIV diagnoses in Queensland fell 8.3% last year, bucking a nationwide trend.

Research out of the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales showed the number of diagnoses increased nationally by 8.2% last year and 50% over the past 10 years.

And while the number of diagnoses rose in NSW and Victoria, Queensland had 222 diagnoses in 2011, 20 fewer than the previous year.

Healthy Communities, which promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Queenslanders, used the figures to criticise the Newman government's decision to cut its funding.

"A reduction in both number and rate of HIV diagnoses in Queensland in 2011 is welcome news," said Healthy Communities executive director Paul Martin.

"While HIV has increased in Queensland over the past 10 years, following a similar national pattern, we are now seeing a stabilisation in Queensland and the beginning of a decline.

"These results draw into question the rationale used by Minister Springborg for the defunding of Healthy Communities.

"Claims that HIV rates in Queensland are worse than other states and are spiralling out of control have been found to be misguided.

"Rates of HIV are, of course, still too high in Queensland and Australia and we must all look at our HIV prevention programs, expand on what works, stop what doesn't and try out new approaches."

 

HIV FIGURES

  • 24,731 people were living with diagnosed HIV in Australia at the end of 2011
  • 1137 new HIV diagnoses in Australia in 2011, an increase of 8.2% over 2010
  • Annual number of new HIV diagnoses has gradually increased over the past 12 years, from 719
  • diagnoses in 1999
  • HIV diagnoses decreased in Queensland from 242 in 2010 to 222 in 2011
  • HIV diagnoses increased in NSW from 351 to 389
  • HIV diagnoses increased in Victoria from 280 to 328


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