Nov 22
Western Nsw Local Health District Reinforces Commitment To Ending Hiv On World Aids Day

Western NSW Local Health District is throwing its support behind a campaign to end HIV, conducting a range of activities and events across the District to recognise World AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day provides a platform to reinforce efforts to dramatically drive down the number of new HIV infections, following the launch of the NSW HIV Strategy 2012 – 2015 twelve months ago. A rangeof strategies and technologies have been adopted throughout the District aiming to achieve virtual elimination of HIV transmission by 2020.

The NSW HIV Strategy focuses on prevention and treatment policies and strategies, partnerships with Non-Government Organisations, medical research and testing and treatment options.

Key aims of the Strategy include:

  • Reducing sexual transmission of HIV among gay men by 60% by 2015 and 80% by 2020.
  • Decreasing rates of HIV infection in other populations, including injecting drug users, sex workers, Aboriginal people and heterosexuals.
  • Reducing the time between infection and diagnosis for people with HIV to ensure early prevention education, access to treatment and reduce onward transmission.
  • Increasing access to antiretroviral treatment to improve health and reduce the number of AIDS-related deaths.
  • Eliminating cases of mother-to-child HIV transmission.

The focus for the year ahead is largely on increasing testing,following a 24% rise in HIV infections in NSW in 2012, with 409 people diagnosed compared to 330 in 2011.

Western NSW Local Health District Blood Borne Virus Prevention Program Coordinator, Georgiana Simpson believes increased testing is key, as it leads to early diagnosis and treatment.

“By testing and diagnosing, early antiretroviral treatment can be prescribed, which not only improves health and wellbeing but also reduces the risk of spreading HIV to others,” Ms Simpson said.

There is still no cure for HIV but treatment is now simpler with fewer side effects. The future for people with HIV who take advantage of the high quality health care available is much brighter than it was a decade ago.

“Prevention is a critical part of efforts to minimise the impact of HIV on our community.

“We encourage regular HIV and STI testing, as an important part of maintaining sexual health for those with sexual risk of HIV exposure,” Ms Simpson said.

For more information visit: www.worldaidsday.org.au  or www.health.nsw.gov.au/endinghiv

Media Contact:

For more information about local events marking World AIDS Day see the information below.  For interviews, please contact Blood Borne Virus Prevention Program Coordinator, Georgiana Simpson on (02) 6339-5187.

 

  Recognising World AIDS Day in our District

 

Date

Town

Event & Contact

Tuesday, 26 November

Dubbo

Lighting up the Western Plains Cultural Centre red.

Contact Margie Crowley on (02) 6841-2489

Monday, 2 December

Collarenebri

LionsPark, ‘Red Day’ awareness stall.

Contact Chrissie Little on (02) 6829-9999

Tuesday, 3 December

Lightning Ridge

Walgett

Collarenebri

Large red bows displayed in town centres.

Contact Chrissie Little on (02) 6829-9999

Wednesday, 4 December

Lightning Ridge

Painting competition and red pancake morning, at  Digger Rest, cnr. Opal Street and Herman’s Land.

Contact Chrissie Little on (02) 6829-9999

Thursday, 5 December

Walgett

Art competition, school promotion and display at football match.

Contact Sandra Suey-Thorne on

(02) 6828-6000

Friday, 6 December

Walgett

 

Ending HIV displays and Street event in Fox Street.

Contact Chrissie Little on (02) 6829-9999

2nd – 6th December

Orange

Stall and Health Exhibition at Clinic 96, Kite Street.

Contact Roisin Dyer on (02) 6392-8617

2nd – 6th December

Bathurst

Stall and Health Exhibition at Bathurst Health Service.

Contact Roisin Dyer on (02) 6392-8617