26 April 2013
On World AIDS Day 2012, the NSW State Government released a new NSW HIV Strategy (2012‐2015), which reflects the ambitious baseline global prevention and treatment targets Australia has committed to under the 2011 UN Declaration. The NSW HIV Strategy aims to exceed these UN targets in several areas, especially in light of the advantages that NSW and Australia has in responding to HIV compared to many other countries. ASHM welcomes the bold and ambitious commitment made by the Minister and her Ministry to working toward the virtual elimination of HIV in NSW. ASHM and our NSW Division are committed to supporting these efforts. ASHM contributed significantly to the development of the Strategy and will play a key role in policy, program and advocacy initiatives imperative to its implementation.
The Strategy goals and targets are ambitious. But new evidence continues to emerge on the benefits of early treatment. On one hand it is argued that NSW with its strong political commitment for these targets is best placed, perhaps globally, to meet such ambitious targets. But some clinicians and researchers have queried the feasibility of achieving these targets given relatively high extant rates of testing, the potential for new infections around time of sero‐conversion and the potential for diffuse infections in non‐priority populations. Irrespective of which of these views is correct, it is indisputable that the support of clinicians is essential to even approaching these goals and targets. And it is with that in mind that this position statement has been developed. ASHM is committed to reducing undiagnosed HIV and maximising appropriate treatment uptake.
Read the full position statement.