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Turn concern into positive action -AIDS Foundation

12 October 2004

Turn concern into positive action says AIDS Foundation

Concern doesn’t translate to safety unless it is followed by action, says the New Zealand AIDS Foundation in the wake of revelations that, while the majority of sexually active Kiwis state that HIV/AIDS is their main sexual health concern, most still have unsafe sex.

The Durex Global Sex Survey 2004 has found that an alarming number of New Zealanders are putting themselves at risk of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections by not using condoms. Kiwis surveyed were well ahead of the global average when it came to having unsafe sex without knowing their partner’s sexual history; up to 57% admitted to unsafe sex, more than 20% higher than the global average and an increase of 20% on 2003’s survey. This in spite of the fact that 51% of New Zealanders surveyed stated their main sexual health concern was HIV/AIDS.

NZAF Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier says that while the Foundation welcomes the level of awareness of HIV/AIDS, it is alarmed at the apparent complacency around unsafe sex.

“ New Zealanders are right to be concerned about HIV,” she says. “There are now more people living with HIV in New Zealand than ever before – which in itself equals increased risk – and the numbers of new HIV cases are growing faster than ever before.

We’re now at the stage where roughly equal numbers of people are being diagnosed in New Zealand each year with heterosexually and homosexually-transmitted HIV, so no-one, whatever their gender or sexuality, can afford to be complacent. But, being worried about HIV is not going to protect anyone unless that worry is translated into a positive action by people choosing to use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse.”

ENDS

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