HIV & AIDS
HIV & AIDS affect everyone!
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 illness - plain and simple. Whilst HIV has had a bigger impact and affected particular groups of people more than others over the course of the epidemic, everyone is at risk and therefore we all need to be mindful about how to protect ourselves.
In Victoria in 2016:
- There were more men than women who became HIV positive;
- The most common age when becoming HIV positive was 20-29;
- 77% of new notifications were attributed to male to male sex;
- The majority of people had been tested for HIV in the past 12 months;
- More people lived in the north and west metropolitan areas of Melbourne; and
- There was a larger proportional increase amongst the heterosexual population between 2015 and 2016 than the heterosexual population (34% Vs 13%)
To find out the latest figures for Victorian HIV notifications please check out the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services’ Ideas website
Furthermore, in an Australian content, the epidemic looks quite different depending upon which state you are in. For example, heterosexual people in Western Australia account for roughly 50% of new notifications; and over the past five years (2012-2016) the proportion with late HIV diagnoses was highest in heterosexuals (43%), men who have sex with men over 50 (37%) and people born in Central America (45%), South East Asia (43%) and sub-Saharan Africa (43%).
For more information about the Australian epidemic check out the Annual Surveillance Reports from the Kirby Institute
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.
Listen to Steve and Sharon tell their story of living with HIV
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!