World AIDS Day

Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton said World Aids Day was a reminder that continued vigilance was needed to prevent the spread of HIV infections.

Page last updated: 01 December 2013

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1 December 2013

Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton said World Aids Day was a reminder that continued vigilance was needed to prevent the spread of HIV infections.

Today’s World AIDS Day is promoting the global theme of ‘Getting to Zero’.

Mr Dutton said that while treatments for HIV were continually improving, prevention through safe sexual practices was vital to help Australia in ‘Getting to Zero’.

“Australia has one of the lowest infection rates in the world, but the number of newly diagnosed cases of HIV infections has started to climb over the past few years,” Mr Dutton said.

“In 2012 Australia’s new diagnoses of HIV increased by 10 per cent to 1,253 cases. This is the largest annual increase in new cases in 20 years,” he said.

“It shows that we must remain vigilant in combatting this disease.

“The Australian Government works in partnership with state and territory governments and key stakeholders to tackle rising rates of blood borne viruses (BBVs) with a view to ‘Getting to Zero’.

“We will also continue to work with the medical profession and affected communities to frame appropriate responses to prevention, education, treatment and care,” Mr Dutton said.

World AIDS Day is one of the most globally recognised events of the year.

Today the official launch of World AIDS Day will be held at Government House in Victoria attended by international dignitaries including UNAIDS Global Advocate for Zero Discrimination and Member of Parliament in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, and UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé.

Next July Australia will host the International AIDS Conference, AIDS 2014, in Melbourne.

It is expected to be the largest health and development conference ever held in Australia, with an estimated 18,000 delegates attending from 200 countries.

The conference will provide an opportunity to learn from successful action against HIV across the world and to showcase our partnership approach to tackling HIV in Australia.

Coordinated national and local events are held each year on World AIDS Day across Australia, with the close involvement of affected communities supported by the Australian and state and territory governments.

The national World AIDS Day website lists events being held across Australia.

Media Contact: John Wiseman – 0401 776 108

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