WHO IS AFFECTED BY HIV & AIDS?

HIV is a disease that affects everyone. It does not discriminate based on how rich you are, where you are from, how you grew up, or what your gender and sexual orientation are. It is an infection – plain and simple. As mentioned above, HIV has a bigger impact on particular groups of people, however, everyone can be at risk, and therefore we need to remain vigilant in the prevention strategies we employ and get tested regularly.

In Victoria in 2020:

  • 195 people became HIV positive;
  • There were more men (75%) than women (25%) who became HIV positive;
  • The most common age when being diagnosed with HIV was 30-39;
  • Men who have sex with men were the most common population to contract HIV;
  • Amongst male to male sex notifications, nearly 50% are people who are born overseas;
  • Roughly a quarter of notifications are amongst heterosexual people;
  • Amongst heterosexual notifications, nearly 50% are people who are born overseas.

Note: The majority of notifications amongst people born overseas appear contracted while in Australia.

These statistics show that HIV can affect everyone and can do so in different ways regardless of who you are or where you are from.

To find out the latest figures for Victorian HIV notifications please check out the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services’ Ideas website [https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/infectious-diseases/infectious-diseases-surveillance/infectious-diseases-surveillance-reports-hiv-aids]

Talking about HIV - A Love Story

Listen to Sharon and Steve talk about being HIV positive, discrimination and stigma and their approach to living with HIV.

TESTING

One of the most important aspects of living with HIV is knowing your status, and the only way to do this is by having a test for HIV. The more people who know their status then the more people who can be in charge of their health and protect both themselves and their partner(s). 

Regular sexual health testing should be a routine part of anyone's life who is sexually active. Some people feel uncomfortable speaking with their local GP about sex and having a sexual health check; however there are certain clinics, such as Melbourne Sexual Health Centre who you can go to anonymously and without a medicare card. Alternatively, there are other agencies with health care facilities such as Family Planning Victoria and Multicultural Health and Support Services who offer sexual and reproductive health care to particular populations. 

It is important to know that having a sexual health check is a painless and easy process which gives you a peice of mind about your sexual health so you can have a fun and sexually active life!