News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


HIV Rates Decrease Sharply For NZ's Heterosexuals

HIV Rates Decrease Sharply For NZ's Heterosexuals

The latest HIV figures from the AIDS Epidemiology Group at the University of Otago have shown a sharp decline in HIV diagnoses for heterosexual New Zealander’s but the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) has warned that the news is not all good.

Shaun Robinson, the newly appointed NZAF Executive Director says “Only 35 of the 149 new diagnoses of HIV last year were heterosexual, compared with a record high of 87 cases in 2006. That’s great news for heterosexual New Zealanders and it should be a cause for celebration.”

Far from celebrating though, Shaun Robinson has grave concerns about the statistics for New Zealand’s gay and bisexual men. “This epidemic has never been worse in New Zealand for gay and bisexual men.

In addition to the 90 gay and bisexual men who are shown to have contracted HIV in 2010, there are another 15 men for whom the method of HIV transmission is unknown. It’s very likely that most of them will be gay or bisexual men, which means that this will be the worst year on record for our gay men’s communities The previous peak in infections was 93 in 2008. Not even in the early days of AIDS in the 1980s were rates of infection this bad in New Zealand.”

HIV testing will remain critical if New Zealand is to control the HIV epidemic. “A large proportion of the gay and bisexual men were not diagnosed with HIV until their infection was past the point when treatment should have begun. These men may have had HIV and been sexually active for a long time before they were diagnosed which means they missed out on treatment and they were also likely to be more infectious”, states Robinson. “This situation could have been avoided by regular HIV testing – which is both free and easy.”

The best estimate of the number of people living with HIV in New Zealand in 2010 is 1800. The majority of these will be gay and bi-sexual men. Robinson concludes “That’s 1800 people who have been needlessly infected. HIV/ AIDS is entirely preventable through use of condoms and lube. Regular testing ensures people get treatment and reduces their likelihood of infecting others. We will be increasing our efforts to make this a widespread community norm.”

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: NZSQ Conclude National Tour With ‘Release’ Programme

The NZSQ concluded their national tour in Wellington with a three-part programme, the triumphant final installment of which was entitled ‘Release.’ It included three pieces representing radical musical innovation... More>>

Howard Davis: The Show Must Go On - ‘La Traviata’ Opening Night Wobbles
Casting problems have beset ‘La Traviata’ since its first performance in March 1853 at Venice’s La Fenice opera house. Sadly, Saturday night’s premiere at Wellington’s newly-restored St James Theatre proved no different... More>>

Howard Davis: Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune - A Brief History

So many elements of Herbert’s novel have since become tropes of popular SciFi that Villeneuve’s film sometimes seems deceptively derivative. What makes all this nonsense essential viewing is his astonishing visual sensibility. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which has been republished by Te Papa press. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland