When HIV-AIDS came to Australia in the early 1980s death followed.
From 1983 until 2005, 3710 people died from HIV/AIDS. More than 3000 of these came from Sydney’s gay community.
We’re thinking about that and HIV in Australia as Pride Month 2022 comes to a close.( June 1 – June 30).
Today, the new preventative medication PrEP has caused a one-third decline in new HIV infections. PrEP is an acronym that stands for “pre-exposure prophylaxis”.
And in other good news, deaths from HIV-AIDs have gradually declined because of the use of combination antiretroviral therapies.
But the late Professor David Cooper, pioneer researcher into many of the drugs which help prevent death from HIV-AIDS, pointed out that it’s a mistake for people to think these are a simple solution.
“…every young person at risk, who has come of age believing that HIV is nothing to worry about any more – they think the pills will be enough. To them I say, yes we have treatments but no magic bullets,” he explained at a talk given at the Kirby Institute in 2011.
The Kirby Institute is a leading global research organisation dedicated to the prevention and treatment of HIV.
Dr Cooper talked about his friend David Polson’s use of drug therapy which has allowed David to live “HIV positive.” But he pointed out this involves taking 42 tablets every day.
I interviewed David Polson for an article on the history of HIV-AIDS which recently appeared in the Daily Telegraph as: “The compassion and love of Sydney’s local heroes and the evolution of their 40 year fight against HIV.“
To read more on the data coming out of The Kirby Institute, reasons for the lowest case numbers ever and why doctors are concerned aboutthe number of late diagnoses visit The Guardian Australia’s article: ‘Elimination ‘entirely achievable’ Australia records lowest number of HIV cases since 1984.’
For more about PrEP, go to: https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/health/prep-trial-leads-unprecedented-reductions-hiv-transmission
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