Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


World AIDS Day 1 December. Be HIV Sure, Get Tested

Over the past 10 years, 55% of heterosexual men and women diagnosed with HIV, have been diagnosed late. 45% of late diagnoses were amongst people over the age of 40. A late HIV diagnoses results in poorer health outcomes and for 26 people over the past 10 years, it resulted in death. Deaths that were avoidable.

“The reason these people are being diagnosed late” says Jane Bruning, National Coordinator of Positive Women Inc., “is because they are not perceived to be at risk. So even when they turn up sick at the GP clinic or in hospital, sometimes repeatedly, offering them an HIV test is not even a consideration.”

AIDS related deaths are totally avoidable due to the significant advances in science, with the production of extremely effective HIV antiretroviral medication. Once on HIV medication, a person’s immune system can rebuild itself and the HIV virus is reduced to undetectable levels in the blood. This enables the person with HIV to have a life expectancy the same as someone who does not have HIV. Also, a person with an undetectable viral load, cannot pass HIV on to anyone else, through either casual or sexual contact, or through pregnancy.

While HIV prevalence amongst heterosexual men and women is not high in Aotearoa, the soon to be released HIV Action Plan by te Whata Ora, aims to have HIV transmission eliminated in Aotearoa by 2032 in line with the global UNAIDS 2030 targets.

“For Aotearoa to achieve these goals, and for people to be able to live their best life, every person needs to have the right to information about and access to, an HIV test”, says Jane Bruning, “currently there is not an equitable structure for this to happen”.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

To commemorate World AIDS day this year, Positive Women Inc. released a facebook campaign on 20 November, promoting a call to action by encouraging people to have an HIV test. Not just as a one off but to incorporate the test into a regular sexual health check.

Normalising HIV testing will help to destigmatise HIV, save lives, provide a better quality of life for those living with HIV and facilitate the elimination of HIV transmission.

Reference information on next page

Positive Women Inc.

Positive Women Inc. is a registered charity established in 1990. We provide HIV support, awareness, and education with a focus on women and families in Aotearoa. Please see website for further information.



  1. UNAIDS elimination of AIDS by 2030 targets 
  2. Delayed diagnosis of HIV infection in women in the Auckland and Northland regions

NZ Medical Journal: Judy Gilmour, Rebecca Henley, Michele Lowe, Simon Briggs 
(see attachment)

  1. Draft HIV Action Plan

Te Whata Ora

4 U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable)

Positive Women Inc. World AIDS Day 2022

Be HIV Sure, Get Tested for World AIDS Day facebook campaign.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.