HIV diagnosis in Australia at 20-year high

In 2013, 1235 people were diagnosed with HIV, compared to 1253 in 2012. The figures, though stable over the last two years, are the highest since the mid-90s. 

There are now an estimated 26,800 people living with HIV in Australia, of those the report suggests one in seven do not know they have the virus. A large number of people also continue to be diagnosed late. 

Associate Professor David Wilson, head of the Surveillance and Evaluation Program for Public Health at the Kirby Institute, said around 30% of people are diagnosed well after they should have started treatment.

That indicates that the steady rise in new cases is likely due to an increase in incidence and not just a reflection of more people being tested, according to Professor Wilson. 

“The biological markers for HIV in people getting diagnosed give us an indication of how long they’ve been infected and the bottom line is the levels have been stable