Pozhet works with service providers in NSW to improve access and support for heterosexual people living with HIV. This includes working with health professionals and services to:
- overcome the invisibility of HIV, stigma and stereo-typing in the wider, non-gay male identifying community
- build awareness of psycho-social issues for heterosexual men and women living with HIV
- contribute to strategies to increase the number of heterosexual men and women diagnosed early by identifying individuals and communities at risk and encouraging testing
- ensure the perspectives and experiences of heterosexual men and women are included in any policy response, program and resource development and research
- ensure that all heterosexual men and women living with HIV and their partners have access to up-to-date information about HIV treatments, transmission, prevention and conception
In 2014, heterosexual men and women were diagnosed later with a median CD4 count of 290 compared to a median CD4 count of 460 among newly diagnosed men who report having sex with men. Late diagnosis has been a feature of heterosexual HIV in NSW and has remained unchanged over the last 6 years.
Of the 346 people newly diagnosed in NSW in 2014, 79% (272) reported acquiring HIV through male to male sex and 14% 50 reported heterosexual sex (NSW Health Annual Data Report)