HIV cases spike following rapid-test push

An extra 8200 HIV tests were conducted in NSW in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period last year. 

Just over 100 people were newly diagnosed with HIV, a 32% increase in notifications compared to the same time last year.

Of these 103 newly diagnosed people, 84% were men who have sex with men and over half were diagnosed within 12 months of when they were likely to have been infected with the virus – a higher proportion than in any of the previous five years. 

According to NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner, the spike in newly detected cases means that the NSW HIV strategy, implemented by the NSW Liberals and previous federal government in 2012, is on track to decrease the spread of HIV in the state. 

“We know that by making testing more accessible and encouraging people in at-risk groups to be tested, the number of new diagnoses will increase before it starts to fall again,” she said.