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Aussie Scientists declared that AIDS no longer threatens Australia

No AIDS Threat In Australia

13 July 2016
By Jamie O'Neal - QL NZ

Over in Australia leading Aussie scientists have declared that AIDS is no longer a threat to public health in Australia and has transitioned to an HIV prevention challenge.

Australian HIV and AIDS organisations and researchers have called on the nation to work together to end HIV as they celebrate the "extraordinary progress" in eliminating AIDS as a threat to public health.

The number of people dying from AIDS in Australia has reduced from 1000 per year in the peak of the epidemic in the early 1990s to a figure currently so low, it is not even recorded.

"The AIDS public health threat has morphed into an HIV prevention challenge," said Professor Andrew Grulich, head of the HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program at the Kirby Institute, Australia's premier HIV research body.

Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations CEO Darryl O'Donnell told the media that the condition people have "so long feared" is no longer seen in Australia in the way it is remembered from the '80s and '90s.

"People diagnosed with HIV can live a full and healthy life, with a normal life expectancy," he said. "HIV is still an incredibly serious illness, and there's no easy road for it. But it is not a death sentence."HIV is a chronic but manageable virus that attacks the immune system, while AIDS is a condition that can follow on from untreated HIV.

Cipri Martinez, President of the National Association of People Living with HIV Australia, said "the virtual elimination of AIDS cases in Australia is an important milestone, but a crucial element to ending HIV in Australia is to encourage the uptake of antiretroviral medicine so that HIV positive people can become undetectable and uninfectious to others."

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