New South Wales Chief Well being Officer Dr Kerry Chant as we speak launched the NSW HIV Strategy 2021-2025, which goals to attain the digital elimination of HIV transmission in NSW.
NSW is a world chief in responding to HIV. The Technique builds on the success of its predecessor, which noticed substantial enhancements in HIV prevention, testing and therapy in NSW.
In 2020, 206 NSW residents had been identified with HIV, a lower of 33 per cent in comparison with the typical for the final 5 years. Solely 31 per cent of those new diagnoses had proof that their an infection occurred within the previous 12 months, a lower of 47 per cent relative to the final 5 years.
This massive decline in diagnoses, notably for early stage infections, suggests HIV transmission decreased in 2020. This massive decline can also be pushed by the results of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with restricted motion, altered health-seeking behaviour, decrease ranges of informal intercourse exercise, in addition to altered service provision and entry.
“Over the long run, our success in HIV transmission is the results of a mix of methods, together with promotion of condom use, entry to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) antiviral medicine, commencing individuals on antiviral therapy sooner after prognosis, therapy as prevention, and hurt discount methods such because the Needle and Syringe Program,” Dr Chant stated.
NSW Well being has invested $105.9 million to strengthen testing, therapy and prevention over the 5 years to June 2021.
To proceed the momentum, the 2021-2025 HIV Technique will:
- Deal with the obstacles to testing and therapy created by stigma and discrimination;
- Adapt, pilot and implement new applied sciences, together with telehealth options;
- Focus further efforts on precedence populations who haven’t skilled the identical degree of latest success, together with culturally and linguistically numerous and overseas-born MSM, MSM youthful than 25, and MSM residing in outer Sydney and regional NSW.
Dr Chant stated progressing the brand new Technique would draw on NSW Well being’s sturdy partnerships between at-risk and affected communities, clinicians, GPs and researchers.
“We should construct on our successes and reply to the challenges launched by COVID-19. HIV testing and PrEP use decreased in 2020, seemingly as a result of affect of COVID restrictions and diminished informal intercourse exercise,” Dr Chant stated.
“It is important that HIV testing and PrEP use will increase in 2021, particularly in precedence populations.”
Folks prone to HIV can get tested confidentially and simply at their native GP, sexual well being service, or at house with a Dried Blood Spot testing package. It will be important that folks in danger take HIV Pre-Publicity Prophylaxis (PrEP) and use condoms.
“Early testing and prognosis linked to therapy prevents transmission. Folks with HIV who’re linked to care and therapy can take pleasure in an extended and wholesome life,” Dr Chant stated.