NSW Health is encouraging people to get checked during HIV Testing Week to help end HIV transmission across the state by 2020.
The Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre (WSSHC) is also urging people with symptoms of, or exposure to, HIV or sexually transmitted infections to see their local GP.
A GP education session will be led by the WSSHC on June 20 in Parramatta to provide doctors in the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) with the latest information on HIV and sexual health.
HIV testing is now fast and easy with a variety of free and confidential services, including the NSW dried blood spot (DBS) self-testing service that can be completed from the comfort of your own home.
In 2017-18, the NSW Ministry of Health invested $22.4 million in services to strengthen HIV testing, treatment and prevention.
HIV Testing Week runs from June 1-7.
Director of the WSSHC Professor David Lewis said it is important that people are tested.
“Knowing your HIV status is a good thing as it means people with HIV can start treatment earlier which not only has better health outcomes but can also help prevent it being passed on to others,” Professor Lewis said.
“We are making good progress towards ending HIV transmission in NSW by 2020.
“Last year alone there was a 19 per cent reduction in the number of men who had sex with men diagnosed with HIV, compared to the average of the past six years.
“The fall in HIV notifications in this category shows that more testing, high treatment, condom use and the addition of the new HIV prevention treatment PrEP, are very effective.”
However, Professor Lewis said there was still work to do.
“In 2017, 67 people were diagnosed with HIV through heterosexual sex … this a 29 per cent rise compared to the previous six-year average,” he said.
NSW Health is committed to dramatically driving down the number of new infections by increasing testing, treatment and encouraging safe sex practices.
For more information about prevention go to: www.health.nsw.gov.au/endinghiv