Five advances in HIV prevention

BY THE end of 2011, over 30,000 HIV infections had been diagnosed in Australia with nearly 25,000 people currently living with HIV. Transmission through injecting drug use (IDU) remains low with only 1% of those attending needle and syringe exchange programs HIV-infected. 

However, despite all efforts, from 2000 the HIV infection rate has gradually risen, increasing over 8% from 2010 to 2011. 

In Australia HIV transmissions continue to occur primarily through sexual contact between men, however heterosexual transmission is also increasing.1 

The last few years have seen new data and research into novel methods of utilising highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) leading to significant gains in HIV transmission prevention. This has resulted in a call to reduce rates of HIV infections by 50%, by the end of 2015, virtual elimination of HIV transmission by 2020 and echoing the UN 2015 Millennium Development Goals.2,3, 8