Australia is a relatively crime-free country but unfortunately, she could not hold her fort against the scourge of HIV. Below are part of the HIV statistics in the country based on Kimberly Institute’s summary of 2015 from the HIV surveillance report. These stats talk about real human beings and calls for caution among folks at-risk of contracting the disease.
From 1984 to 2015 there were 36,171 cases of HIV in Australia with more males infected than females. Cases of people diagnosed newly of HIV for the year 2015 numbered 1,035. A greater percentage of the cases were among men with 915 out of the total cases. Within the male category, the majority affected were men who have sex with men.
Age-wise, 69% of the newly diagnosed cases of HIV were reported among persons 30 years old and above. Those primarily infected with HIV who tested within the window period of the infection were 397 out of 1,035. In addition to the 397 previously negative cases, 218 cases of positive serological test results from tests done in countries outside Australia were confirmed in Australia.
As at 2015, the yearly number of HIV infection in the country increased after a period of stability in the number of cases; this is as a result of the report regarding the progressive increase of the infection among males. Males aged between 25 to 29 years of age were the most hit by HIV in 2015 followed by those in the 30 to 39 years old group as well as the 20 to 24 years old category.
The rate of HIV transmission among women has been steadily on the decline since 2011. Females belonging to the 30 to 39 years group had the highest notification rate of HIV, seconded by those in the 25 to 29 years old category. Be that as it may, there has been a reduction of 57% of 25 to 29 years old group of females getting infected with HIV in Australia.
Generally, there has been a relative decline in the rate of HIV infection notification since 2005 in the following provinces of Australia: Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia. In Queensland, there was a notable decrease in the rate of HIV infection to 4.3 per 100,000 in the population in 2015 and from 2014’s 5.3 per 100,000 in the population.
The same is not the case for the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory of Australia considering that the number of new diagnoses since 2005 to 2015 has been on the increase, fluctuating here and there slightly.
Modes of Exposure: Men Who Have Sex with Other Men
Since 2005 till 2015, exposure to HIV infection through male-to-male sex has been the most common route for the disease transmission.
Among men who have sex with men, there was a decrease in the median age of those infected with HIV from 2005 to 2015. The age of those infected most in 2015 was 34 years which is lower than that obtainable in 2006 (37). Out of 699 diagnoses of HIV infection recorded for men who have sex with men, 10% of the total number was reported for bisexuals who, apart from having male-to-male sex, also had sex with women. Men who had sex with men who also were injection drug users were 48 in number.
As opposed to the statistics obtained for the United States on HIV infection, there was a consistent increase, since 2005, in the number of men who have sex with men with origin from Asia including South East Asia, North Asia, and Southern Asia. These made up 57% in 2015, of the race/ethnicity category (non-Australian born men) for the homosexual mode of exposure to HIV which is a remarkable increase from 30% in 2006.
Modes of Exposure: Heterosexuals
Heterosexual mode of exposure to newly acquired HIV infection in 2015 was 206 out of 1,035. 36% of the 206 were cases of infected people from countries where HIV is highly prevalent or their partners were from HIV endemic regions. Apart from unspecified non-homosexual exposure to HIV, the most usual exposure to HIV was from people who originated from HIV endemic countries. More females were given to having heterosexual sex with partners who were at a high risk of contracting HIV, or who are from HIV prevalent countries.
Late and Advanced Diagnoses
It is noteworthy that there has been a decline in the number of late diagnoses for HIV/AIDS by 19%; this is down from 36% in 2006 to 29% in 2015.
Sub-Saharan Africans and South-East Asians made up the highest number of HIV notification with late diagnoses, especially among men who have sex with men in the male category.