It’s fair to say that in NSW we’ve seen a dramatic transformation within the HIV landscape in the last decade.
As we’ve reached the 2020 marker, we have seen more guys get tested, more accessing HIV treatment and more using different methods to prevent the spread of HIV than ever before. And as a result, we are starting to see a decline in HIV infections across the state.
Although our work is not yet over, we are taking this moment to celebrate the wins and say thank you to the community. For testing often, treating early, staying safe, and for bringing us ever closer to ending HIV transmission for all, thank you, ขอขอบคุณ, 谢谢, gracias, merci, obrigado, ありがとう.
Thank you for testing
Testing for HIV often is key, and data taken from the Sydney Gay Community Periodic Survey 2019, indicated that 78% of gay and bi guys in NSW had tested within the last 12 months. That’s pretty remarkable.
Today, we know getting tested four times a year is a great way to look after your health. Testing frequently enables you to know your status and ensures that if HIV or any other STIs are detected, they can be treated sooner and stops you passing it on to anyone else.
Thank you for starting HIV treatment
To the 98% of people living with HIV in NSW who are on treatment, thank you. Not only does starting HIV treatment provide significant health benefits, but we also know that by achieving and maintaining an undetectable viral load you can no longer pass HIV onto your sexual partners. Now that’s certainly worth celebrating.
While we have come a long way in terms of HIV treatments, experience of HIV-related stigma continue to affect the lives of many, not just those who are living with HIV, but also their partners, friends, families and the broader community. So, to those who share their status, those who stand up against stigma and discrimination, those who use respectful language and those who help others in our community live their lives without fear, thank you.
Thank you for staying safe
By June 2019, 10,732 people across NSW had collected PrEP via the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme), with even more accessing it from other means. PrEP has truly changed the game, and alongside undetectable and condoms, it’s given us more choice around how to protect ourselves and prevent transmission of HIV.
Whichever way you choose to stay safe, thank you for actively caring for yourself and the community.
Thanks to you, we’re ending HIV transmissions for all.