KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 — The number of new HIV diagnosis in Australia is currently at an 18-year low.
The drop was mainly due to a thirty per cent drop seen among bisexual and gay men. However, those among heterosexual and indigenous Australian populations seem to not have changed.
According to research from the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, 835 people were newly diagnosed in 2018, the lowest reported since 2001, is also a decline of around 20 per cent over five years.
This success has been due to to the availability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a HIV prevention medication first introduced in 2016 in Australia.
The listing of the drug on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme last year, enabled the daily drug to be made affordable and reduced to hundreds per year.
Thousands of Australians are now taking PrEP which reduces the HIV infection risk by up to 99 per cent.
Linking people diagnosed with HIV with treatment up to the level where they effectively do not transmit the virus, has resulted in these major reductions.