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The HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia: annual surveillance report and the Bloodborne viral and sexually transmitted infections in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People: surveillance and evaluation report 2013 was released Monday 21 October at the Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference 2013 by University of New South Wales's Kirby Institute.
The reports indicates that the number of cases of HIV infection diagnosed each year has increased annually over the past 13 years, with the largest single year increase in new diagnoses recorded in 2012.
By the end of 2012, a total of 34 029 cases of HIV infection had been diagnosed in Australia since the epidemic began. Between 28 600 - 34 300 people were estimate to be living with HIV infection. 'One of the biggest challenges in responding to Australia's HIV epidemic remains the estimated 10-to-25% of people with HIV whose infection remains undiagnosed. We need to focus significant efforts on getting people diagnosed and initiating antiretroviral therapy in order to improve their health and reduce the risk of transmission in the community,' said Associate Professor, David Wilson, of the Kirby Institute.
In the period 2008 - 2012, a higher proportion of notifications of newly diagnosed HIV infection among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cases were attributed to injecting drug use (13% verses 2%) compared with non Indigenous cases. Rates of newly diagnosed hepatitis B infections among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were reported at more than two times the rate of non-Indigenous people in 2012 and rates of newly diagnosed hepatitis C infections were four times greater among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than in the non-Indigenous population.
Source: Kirby Institute
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