Sydney is close to eliminating HIV in the inner city but not in the outskirts

“We can’t just pick up on the messages that we’re spreading downtown, we also make sure we work with communities because we know the messages are much more effective that way,” he said.

ACON offers booking and clinical services in multiple languages ​​and has translated its website into Thai and Simplified Chinese to make testing and other preventive measures easier for more people to access.

Bill Bowtell, Associate Professor and Strategic Advisor on Health Policy at the University of NSW.

Bill Bowtell, Associate Professor and Strategic Advisor on Health Policy at the University of NSW.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

Nationwide figures released by the Kirby Institute on Thursday show rates of new HIV cases among recently arrived gay and bisexual men who were born abroad have stagnated since 2020.

Vaughan said Australia’s comparatively low HIV rates could cause people arriving in Australia to lose their alertness. Stigma remains a problem.

“For example, if you are from Indonesia, where your homosexuality carries with it persecution, you are more likely to have distrust of the government and government services when you arrive in Australia,” he said.


Bill Bowtell, an associate professor at the University of NSW and a key government adviser during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, said the reduction in inner city cases was a “remarkable achievement” but Australia could not afford to be complacent.

“The great experience in Australia is that effective, open and targeted messaging to all vulnerable communities is the way to go,” he said. “We cannot say that the battle is won. What is keeping this number low, and what will continue to keep it low in the future, is continuous pressure, continuous funding, and continuous active intervention in people who are at risk of infection.”

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Justin Scaccy

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