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FPA says complacency no protection from HIV/AIDS

FPA says complacency no protection from HIV/AIDS

New Zealanders who ignore safer sex advice continue to risk exposure to HIV/AIDS, and their chances of being infected are increasing, the Family Planning Association says.

It's World AIDS Day on Sunday and FPA Acting Executive Director, Jackie Edmond said New Zealanders should take no comfort from knowing that the number of new infections in this country is small by comparison with less developed countries.

"We are still seeing new cases of HIV/AIDS each year here and heterosexual transmission is becoming more common in New Zealand.

"Globally the number of women being infected is increasing as the face of this epidemic continually changes."

Scientists at the United Nations AIDS Programme estimate there are now 42 million people in the world with HIV/AIDS of whom 5 million became infected this year. Of the 38.6 million infected adults about 19.2 million are women.

Ms Edmond said it's time New Zealanders took seriously the threat of HIV/AIDS.

"We know from the increasing chlamydia and gonorrhoea statistics that there is a lot of unprotected sex going on. Those same people could just as easily be facing a HIV/AIDS diagnosis in the future."

Ms Edmond said condom use was key to practising safer sex and FPA educators would be supporting the New Zealand AIDS Foundation which has a number of activities planned for AIDS Awareness Week, 29 November to 6 December.

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