State Health Officer Dr. Jeannette Young said Queensland logged a record-high number of HIV/AIDS cases in 2009. New data show 178 people were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS last year, up from 166 cases in 2008. That represents a rate of 4.1 per 100,000 people in 2009, compared with 3.9 in 2008.
"The increase may be partly due to an aggressive campaign for testing of gay men carried out by the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities," said Young. "Of all HIV notifications last year in Queensland, 88 percent were in males, and the highest notification rates were in the 25-34 years age group."
According to Young, the figures emphasize the need for people to practice safe sex. Investments in HIV/AIDS prevention and education campaigns must continue at the state and national level, she said.
Queensland is finalizing its HIV Prevention Action Plan, and the state health department has contributed to a new National HIV Strategy to be considered by the Australian Health Ministers' Conference on April 22.