In a press release about HIV Testing Week, NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant said around 10,500 people in NSW are living with diagnosed HIV infection. “Increasing testing rates is vital because HIV is generally transmitted by people who don’t know they have it,” she said. It is reported that around 10 per cent of HIV positive people in NSW may be unaware they have HIV.
Dr Chant said most infections reported in 2013 were in gay and homosexually-active men (78 per cent) with heterosexual cases accounting for 17 per cent. As well as gay men, heterosexual people who are from populations at risk of HIV should be tested. This includes people from countries which have high rates of HIV infection and anyone who has had sex without a condom while travelling in any of these countries. Anyone who has had sex without a condom with a person with HIV or at risk of HIV should also be tested. This includes men who have sex with men and women. There are a variety of HIV testing services in NSW, including specialist sexual health clinics throughout NSW and pop up services available during HIV Testing Week. People can also request a test at their GP.