NZ singled out for stabilised HIV rates

Published: December 18, 2014

Original Article:

As we buck worldwide trends of rising HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men, New Zealand has been singled out by the prestigious Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal.

The article points at the UK “unfortunately” being at the forefront of the HIV epidemic in among gay and bisexual men in the developed world”, pointing to diagnoses being at a new all-time high in 2013. It says the numbers are rising at a similar rate across the European Union and European Economic Area, while Australia has its own all-time high in 2012, before remaining relatively high in 2013.

The article points to New Zealand and Canada as two developed nations where the numbers of new diagnoses have stabilised; saying behind Canada’s numbers is “a complex pattern of stories in different provinces” which have different approaches. It says British Columbia “has led the progress with its focus on treatment as prevention, and seen a near-halving in new diagnoses between 2004 and 2012”.

The report says while New Zealand might seem far removed from the HIV epidemic among ‘men who have sex with men’ [MSM], “its MSM population is at high risk just like MSM in other developed countries. Despite this, New Zealand has maintained its new HIV diagnoses among MSM at about 100 per annum throughout the past decade.”

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