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Author Topic: Jump in HIV testing rates reported  (Read 61 times)

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Jump in HIV testing rates reported
« on: 29 Sep 11, 10:29:am »
More gay and bisexual men in New Zealand are testing for HIV, according to a keynote paper delivered at the Australasian HIV Conference in Canberra.

Half (51%) of respondents to the Gay Auckland Periodic Sex Survey (GAPSS) in February this year had tested for HIV in the previous 12 months, up from 41% in the 2008 survey.

Dr Peter Saxton says three plausible reasons include better services such as rapid testing at New Zealand AIDS Foundation clinics, better awareness of HIV risks among gay men, or more risk activities occurring.

"If you've been exposed to HIV through unprotected anal sex, early diagnosis through testing is important for your future health prospects," the Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Otago Department of Preventive and Social Medicine says.

The findings were delivered as part of an invited paper discussing HIV testing and prevention in New Zealand.

"New Zealand has a proud history of an early, progressive, human rights-based response to HIV," Dr Saxton says. "Our community and public health pioneers in the 1980s and 1990s fought hard to pass legislation which dismantled obstacles to HIV prevention for groups such as gay men and injecting drug users. We've inherited that legacy 25 years later, which is having one of the lowest levels of HIV infection in the world."