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Thursday 23 February 2017

Condom distribution up, HIV diagnoses down

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News, Safe Sex
By Daily News staff - 27th November 2012

Over half a million free condoms have been distributed by the NZ AIDS Foundation over the past year against a background of a significant lowering in HIV infection rates and a good uptake of its Get It On safe sex campaign.

"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.

"This  is something to cautiously celebrate and we are desperately pleased about it. But we can't relax in our efforts to fight the spread of HIV," Sweet says.

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."

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