Sixth National HIV Strategy

The Sixth National HIV Strategy 2010-2013 builds on five previous strategies which guided Australia’s response to HIV and AIDS between 1989 and 2009. It is one of a suite of five strategies aiming to reduce the transmission of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and blood borne viruses (BBVs), and the morbidity, mortality and personal and social impacts they cause.

Page last updated: 09 November 2011

Trends

Historically, Australia has the lowest overall population rates of new HIV diagnoses among similarly developed countries.
  • By 31 December 2010, 30 486 diagnoses of HIV infection had occurred in Australia. An estimated 21 391 people were living with diagnosed HIV infection in Australia at the end of 2010.
  • Following a long-term decline, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses, which include newly acquired infections in Australia has gradually increased, from 718 in 1999 to 1,043 in 2010. However, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses has remained relatively stable at around 1 000 over the past five years.
  • Around 14% of cases of HIV infection newly diagnosed in Australia in 2010 had been previously diagnosed overseas.
  • The annual number of newly acquired HIV infection (ie known to have been acquired in the past 12 months) increased from 209 in 2001 to 304 in 2010.
  • There was a similar per capita rate of HIV diagnosis in the Aboriginal and Torres Islander and non-Indigenous populations. Higher proportions of cases were attributed to heterosexual contact and injecting drug use in the Indigenous population.
  • HIV continued to be transmitted primarily through sexual contact between men. There is no cure or vaccine for HIV, although the use of antiretroviral medication has been effective in slowing the progression to AIDS in HIV-infected individuals.

Links to other strategies

Guidelines/Information Sheets/Publications

HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia Annual Surveillance Report 2011, published by the Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society (formally the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (NCHECR)).

A list of publications is available from the publications page.