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Australia’s Gays Are Not To Blame For Highest Spike Of HIV Infections In Two Decades

With 1,050 new cases of HIV infection reported in 2009, Australia is seeing its highest rate of transmission in two decades. (The peak was in 1986, with 2,400.) And while the the data from new surveys “show the proportion of gay men having unprotected sex has increased and the rate is at its highest in seven years in Sydney,” it’s actually a “jump in heterosexual infections” that’s to blame for new HIV cases. Infection rates among men who have sex with men (MSM, in clinical terms) dropped four percent. Which, given the increase in the number of MSM reporting unprotected anal sex, seems paradoxical.

Meanwhile: “As of late 2009, Australia had recorded a total 29,395 diagnoses of HIV infection since the virus was first discovered, with 10,446 of those cases resulting in AIDS and 6,776 related deaths. There were 20,171 Australians living with a diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2009.”