"In 2011 we had a drop in infection rates of over 33%," NZAF chair Andrew Sweet says, "and in the first half of this year, which is the most reliable figures we have to date, we've had a drop of a further 6%." The drop comes off the back of record highs in annual new HIV diagnoses in previous years and is in contrast to escalating rates of infection in similar gay communities in such places as Australia, the USA and the UK.
The Foundation's Executive Director Shaun Robinson says the almost 40% drop in less than two years is "exceptional" and he believes the Foundation's Get It On campaign complemented by aggressive promotion of HIV testing and condom distribution are the factors driving the lowering diagnoses rate.
"I feel very positive about what we are doing and honestly think that New Zealand and the NZ AIDS Foundation are showing the way in terms of addressing HIV amongst gay and bisexual men in developed countries," Robinson says. "We are standing out both in the approach we are taking and the results we are getting and people around the world are starting to take more and more notice of that. We can all be proud of that."