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International News

Australia: New HIV Cases Top One Thousand Again

October 18, 2010

New diagnoses of HIV in Australia reached 1,050 in 2009, the continuation of a decade-long climb and the highest figure in almost two decades.

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"It's fair to say over the last decade there was a substantial increase and we are starting to stabilize out, just recently," said Dr. David Wilson, of the National Center in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research.

The climb in HIV diagnoses comes amid mixed success in addressing other STDs. Chlamydia diagnoses rose 4 percent in 2009 to 62,613. At the same time, rates of gonorrhea and syphilis improved as did the incidence of hepatitis C. Among those 15 to 19 years of age, a drop in injecting drug use is credited with lowering cases of hepatitis C by 80 percent in the last five years.

Wilson attributed the rise in HIV diagnoses to the fact that improved treatment has made the disease "not as scary as it was in the 1980s."

While HIV diagnoses are increasing, mortality from HIV has declined since the 1990s. In 2009, nine deaths in Australia were attributed to AIDS, down from 26 in 2008.

"We are in an era where we are seeing the lowest deaths associated with HIV than we have seen in history," Wilson said.

About 25 percent of the HIV-positive population is 55 or older, compared to 2.5 percent in 1985 and the 44 percent expected in 10 years, Wilson said.

Back to other news for October 2010

Adapted from:
Australian Associated Press
10.18.2010; Danny Rose


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
More HIV Statistics on Australia

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