Why it's important to test a diverse range of patients for HIV
During HIV Awareness Week (23 – 30 November), NSW Health encourages health professionals to test a diverse range of patients at risk of HIV, including:
- overseas-born men who have sex with men (MSM)
- heterosexual identifying MSM
- Australian-born MSM.
Testing should be routinely offered to men, women and gender diverse people, who:
- are from or who travel to high prevalence countries
- sexual partners of people from or who travel to high prevalence countries
- ask for a HIV test, regardless of their risk profile
- are diagnosed with another sexually transmissible infection (STI).
Testing is an ideal time to discuss HIV and STI prevention methods such as HIV PrEP and condom use. Free condoms are available for distribution here (NSW only).
Latest NSW data
NSW continues to make progress towards the virtual elimination of HIV transmission by 2020, with recent data showing the number of NSW residents newly diagnosed with HIV decreased by 10%.
Latest data show a 23% increase in HIV notifications among overseas-born MSM with a majority of these MSM born in South-East Asia.
To help you test, see these recently updated documents:
- STI/HIV Testing Tool
- Australian Sexually Transmitted Infection & HIV Testing Guidelines 2019 - for asymptomatic men who have sex with men
Consider checking the suite of HIV pathways on Illawarra Shoalhaven HealthPathways for localised information, including details specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.